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BOSTON, U. 8. A. 


IT is to be regretted that notwithstanding it is a matter 
of prime importance that both dealers in painters' supplies 
and users of the same the painters and decorators 
should be well posted about the materials they handle, the 
vast majority have but the faintest ideas concerning 
the properties of pigments. One would naturally suppose 
that dealers ought to know all about them, their values, 
cost of production, qualities and defects. Without 
such knowledge they cannot truthfully answer the 
questions daily put to them. This ignorance has made 
it possible for unscrupulous manufacturers to palm off 
almost anything upon them. Every manufacturer and 
dealer has been a law unto himself, each differing from 
nearly everyone else in the trade. This lack of standards 
was really due to the indifference caused by the lack of 
knowledge on the part of both dealers and consumers. 
It has enabled the unprincipled to fleece an unsuspecting 
public out of millions of dollars. 

Now that the public is being made fully aware of what 
they buy in the way of food, and that the general govern- 
ment and most of the states are working together in 
enforcing laws which require manufacturers to state 
upon labels placed upon packages an exact statement of 
what they contain, it is to be hoped that the same pro- 
tection will be extended to all other compounded material 
in the paint line which is subject to adulteration. 

The blame for adulteration does not rest upon the 
shoulders of the manufacturers and dealers only. Igno- 



ranee of what constitutes the value of an article and a 
desire on the part of consumers to obtain it at a cost 
below what it is worth are also very strong factors 
possibly the main ones why goods are adulterated at all. 
Manufacturers and dealers would not undertake to 
manufacture or sell material for which there would be no 

The Master Painters' Association has done some 
excellent work in past years to open the eyes of painters, 
and through its efforts in showing up the rottenness in the 
paint trade existing at the time of its inception a great 
change for the better has been brought about. 

The trade journals, however, have done even more 
real good by bringing this work of the association to the 
knowledge of thousands of those painters who are not 
members of the association and who otherwise would 
never have heard of it. Thanks to this agitation which 
has been going on for the past eighteen years, the paint 
situation is in a much healthier condition to-day. 
Standards of quality are being established, and it is 
possible to obtain colors dry, ground in oil, Japan or 
water, which are exactly what the label represents them 
to be. 

It is not within the scope of this little book to go into 
the detective business nor to make a specialty of exposing 
the tricks of trade. Its purpose is to give a brief and 
concise history of all valuable pigments useful in paint- 
ing the main sources of their derivation and supply; 
their properties and chief uses; their good qualities and 
their defects will be pointed out and incidentally there 
will be presented the best methods of detecting adultera- 

While tons of literature have been issued by the trade 
journals and in book form, very little has been written 


upon pigments, and most of that has been in short sketches 
and merely as a side issue to the main subject matter of 
the volumes containing them. 

Some excellent books on pigments have been published 
in England and Germany. These were written by 
chemists and are of use to manufacturers in particular. 
They mainly treat what may be called the scientific side, 
the practical being only treated incidentally or ignored 
entirely. Of this character are such admirable works as 
Field's Chromatography. Its high cost, even if it treated 
pigments more fully from the consumer's viewpoint, 
would prevent its purchase by the bulk of those who 
otherwise would be interested in it and no doubt procure it. 

It is impossible in as small a volume as this to enter 
into the chemistry of pigments nor into some of the intri- 
cate details of manufacture and preparations for use, 
except in the briefest manner that will give the reader 
a fair idea of its composition. This is about all that 
painters or dealers require to know of the chemical side of 
pigments. Additional details would be of no importance, 
and none outside a manufacturer of colors would be 
interested in them. This manual is written for the men 
who use or sell pigments and who mainly want to know 
what they can expect of them. 

The author has made use of the best that has been said 
upon the subject matter in the past. He has consulted 
some of the best authorities and had access to nearly 
everything that has been published on pigments, many of 
these books being now out of print. He was also very 
fortunate in that for a few years he had the pleasure of 
having intercourse almost daily with the late lamented Wm. 
C. Wilson of Philadelphia, who at that time was probably 
the best posted man on pigments in America. The 
information thus obtained has been largely drawn upon. 


This little book will be of value to the young man who 
is starting out to learn the painter's trade. It will 
teach him what he ought to know about paints and 
what he will never learn from the average journeyman 
who is usually reticent and may very likely not know 
enough about pigments to answer a novice's queries. 
It will be useful to many painters who have never had 
an opportunity to study the matter of pigments, except 
in a haphazard sort of a way without system and with 
much guess-work. As to the dealers, many of them are 
druggists who have a fair knowledge of chemistry. 
These will find the chemical details sufficient to give the 
information that is wanted. Other dealers not so well 
informed find also enough explanation to enable them 
to know if they are buying the right goods or paying a 
fair price. 

It is probable that errors have crept in and will crop 
out when this book comes out in print. Good care has 
been taken that there be no glaring ones, but it is still 
possible that some may inadvertently have been over- 
looked. Be that as it may, infallibility is not claimed, 
but the author has given out what he honestly thinks 
is reliable. Such as it is, this little book is confidently 
submitted to an indulgent public. 


Aug. 30, 1907. 




PREFACE .... hi 


Definition of the word " pigment." Some substances are real 
pigments in water, but only so by courtesy in oil. Synopsis 
of the manner in which the subject matter is to be treated in 
succeeding chapters. 


Introduction. White lead, history, chemistry, and manu- 
facture. Dutch process; stack method of corrosion, cylinder 
method, sulphate of lead, sublimed lead. Dahl process; prop- 
erties and uses. Blow pipe and other tests for impurities. 

WHITE PIGMENTS (Continued) 32 

Zinc white; its history and chemistry, its properties and uses. 

WHITE PIGMENTS (Continued) 40 

Earth whites ; their general characteristics. Whiting (car- 
bonate of lime) ; properties and uses. China clay (kaolin) ; 
properties and uses. Gypsum (sulphate of lime) ; properties 
and uses. Silicate earths; properties and uses. Silver 
white; properties and uses. Baryta white (sulphate of 
barium) ; properties and uses. 






Ochers; history and early use made of them, methods of 
mining and preparing for market, divided into two classes, 
the silicious and aluminous, various characteristics, proper- 
ties and uses of each. Grinding colors in shops, no econo- 
my therein. American ochers; their properties and uses. 
Artificially made ochers. 

YELLOW PIGMENTS (Continued) 73 

The chrome yellows ; their various tones. Medium chrome 
yellow, only the chromate of lead. Canary and lemon chrome 
yellows. Baryta lemon chrome yellow ; characteristics, . 
properties and uses. Adulterations; how to detect them. 

Comparisons and the judging of values by the scale test. 
Full directions for making it. Useful for many other colors. 

YELLOW PIGMENTS (Continued) 86 

Gamboge; production, properties and uses. Aureolin or cobalt 
yellow; properties and uses. Indian yellow; properties and 
uses. Naples yellow; production, properties and uses. 
Dutch pink, yellow lake, Italian pink, quercitron, etc.; pro- 
perties and uses. Cadmium yellow ; properties and uses. 
King's yellow or orpiment; properties and uses. 



Vermilion. Quick silver vermilion; its history, chemistry 
and manufacture ; properties and uses, adulteration. The 
imitation or vermilion reds ; peculiarities, properties and uses. 

American vermilion; properties and uses. 

RED PIGMENTS (Continued} 106 

Venetian red; history and manufacture, characteristics, proper- 
ties and uses. Indian reds; characteristics, properties and 
uses. Tuscan reds ; properties and uses. Red oxide of iron ; 
characteristics, properties and uses. 




RED PIGMENTS (Continued.') 116 

Red lead; its chemistry and manufacture, properties and 
uses. Lakes; what they are. Alizarin and purpurin; their 
uses in the manufacture of lakes. Rose pink; properties and 
uses. Rose lake; properties and uses. Madder lakes; 
include all shades and varieties of red lakes made from alizarin 
and purpurin, many sold under proprietary names. 
Indian lake; properties and uses. Carmine and the cochineal 
lakes; characteristics, properties and uses. Red ochers; what 
they are. 


Chrome greens; composition, properties and uses. All greens 
under proprietary names are chrome greens. Green oxide of 
chromium, true chrome green; properties and uses. Cobalt 
green or zinc green; preparation, properties and uses. Viri- 
dian; properties and uses. 

GREEN PIGMENTS (Continued) 139 

Terre verte; properties and uses. Verdigris; derivation, proper- 
ties and uses. Paris or emerald green; chemistry, properties 
and uses. Malachite; properties and uses. Scheele's green; 
properties and uses. 


Ultramarine blue; history, character, properties and uses. 
Prussian blue; chemical constituents, preparation, properties 
and uses. Chinese (Prussian) soluble blue; properties and 

BLUE PIGMENTS (Continued) 152 

Cobalt blue; preparation, properties and uses. The artificially 
prepared cobalt blue. Cceruleum ; properties and uses. 
Chessylite; properties and uses. Smalt; properties and uses. 





Umbers. Raw umber; characteristics, properties and uses. 
Burnt umber; properties and uses. Siennas. Raw sienna; 
where obtained, preparation, properties and uses. Burnt 
sienna; properties and uses. Vandyke brown; properties and 
uses. The metallic browns; provenance, properties and 
uses. Spanish brown; properties and uses. 


Lamp black; characteristics, manufacture, properties and uses. 
Carbon or gas black; properties and uses. Ivory black. 
Coach black. Drop black. One and the same ; preparation, 
properties and uses. Charcoal black or blue black ; properties 
and uses. Graphite or plumbago; properties and uses. 


A table to facilitate the finding of pigments known under various 


What vehicles are. Raw linseed oil. What a drying oil is. 
What a fixed oil is. The only ones of use for exposed paint- 
ing. The provenance of linseed oil ; its manufacture and 
preparation for use. How linseed oil dries ; its proper- 
ties. Boiled linseed oil; its properties. Nitric acid and 
other tests for impurities. Poppyseed oil; characteristics, 
properties and uses. 

VEHICLES (Continued) 206 

The volatile oils; what they are; their properties and uses 
in paint vehicles. Spirits of turpentine; how obtained; its 
diuretic properties. Naphtha and benzine; properties and 
uses. All volatile oils solvent of gum-resins used as such in 
varnish making. 




VEHICLES (Continued) 211 

Varnishes, japans and alcoholic shellac solutions. Varnishes; 
what they are; their properties and uses as binders and vehi- 
cles. Japans;' some confusion as to what they are; their use 
as vehicles, driers, alcoholic shellac solutions; properties and 



Waxes. Beeswax used in encaustic painting in earliest civiliza- 
tion. The vegetable waxes. The paraffin waxes. 




Glues; manufacture, properties and uses. Gum arabic; prove- 
nance, properties and uses. Starch, dextrin, honey, sugar, 
molasses and glycerine. Their properties and uses. 



Boiled linseed oil as a siccative; properties and uses. The lead 
oxides ; the oxides of manganese. Acetate of lead. Sulphate 
of zinc. Their action upon linseed oil and other fixed oils 


Philosophy of color. Rules to guide one in the compounding 
of tints. 




A few cautionary words followed by the list of tints. 

F THE " \ 


OF / 




IN subsequent chapters it is intended to take up a study 
of the various pigments which are used in ordinary 
painting, as well as those employed by decorators for 
either distemper or oil painting; those used by coach 
and car painters will also be reviewed. The whole field 
will be covered, with possibly the exception of a few pig- 
ments which have become obsolete, and which have been 
replaced by better ones. 

The vehicles which are used in the application of pig- 
ments will also be noticed, as in some respects they are 
really of more importance than the pigments themselves. 
Binding substances and correctives will also be described, 
and their character and uses noted. 

The word " pigment " is applied to coloring substances 
which, when mixed with suitable vehicles, form paints. It 
means " color," the word " color " being used indifferently 
to mean a compound of various pigments, or a pigment 
which has been ground ready for use; the various pig- 
ments put up in cans and found for sale at the supply 
stores are commonly known by that name. No matter 



what medium has been used in the grinding of pigments, 
be it linseed oil, japan, varnish, or water, all are known 
as " colors" either simple or compounded. The word 
"pigment" is therefore much more restricted than 
that of " color." 

Strange as it may appear, this word has not yet 
received its final definition. It is vaguely applied 
to designate any substance that may be used in the 
preparation of paint, fillers used in wood finishing, 
etc. It is given to any solid substance used in com- 
pounds, and is replacing that word in paint parlance 
at least. 

Strictly speaking, the name of pigment should never 
be given to any substance unless it has the inherent 
power of its own to impart color to other substances with 
which it may be mixed. Originally it was used in this 
strict sense only, and it should be so restricted. As it is 
now, the adjunct substances possessing no coloring matter 
of their own which are usually added to true pigments 
with no other purpose in view than that of adding weight 
without changing the original color of the pigments in 
combination, are all called pigments too. It is a mis- 
nomer. Possessing no coloring matter, the makeweights 
are certainly not entitled to the name. 

Correctives sometimes useful adjuncts to a pigment 
are frequently of the same colorless character as the 
makeweights, and therefore not entitled to be classed 
with them. To illustrate exactly what is meant, the 
following example is given: Starch and glue are solid 
substances, but after they have been converted into thin 
paste by the addition of hot water they are colorless, and 
when they have been mixed with whiting or zinc or any 
"colors," a distemper color has been prepared of which 
either may form a component part, though not as a pig- 


ment ; the addition does not change the color of the com- 
pound in the least. 

Here is another example: Liquid fillers, and fillers for 
the light hard woods, contain some transparent solid sub- 
stance, such as very finely ground silex, quartz, etc.; the 
manufacturer in his pamphlets calls it the pigment part of 
the filler. He uses it in this connection actually in place 
of the word "solid." This is wrong, and befogs the real 
meaning of the word, which originally seemed admirably 
adapted to express the thought of coloring matter. 

By courtesy some few substances will be designated as 
pigments that do not possess any coloring matter of their 
own to impart to other materials with which they are 
mixed. For instance, barytes has no coloring matter to 
impart to other pigments ground with it in oil or japan, 
but when used alone in water it has a white color. Several 
such substances which do not deserve to be classed as colors 
when mixed in oil, have coloring when mixed with water; 
and to save a double definition of them, the term " pig- 
ment," which is applicable to them when in water but 
which would not apply when mixed in oil, is nevertheless 
retained in this instance, but to which they are really 
no more entitled than is starch or glue. For similar 
reasons, carbonate of lime (whiting), sulphate of lime 
(gypsum) , finely powdered silicate stone or earths (silver 
white or English kalsomine), will also be included in the 
list of pigments, for they are properly so called when in 
water (if not in oil). 

To facilitate the search of any particular pigment, so 
that they can be readily found without even taking the 
trouble to look them up in the index, these have been 
placed in groups of the principal colors, and all pigments 
of that tone or order will be found under the proper 
heading in the class to which they belong. The principal 


pigment, or that which is mostly used, will be placed at the 
head of the list, and others will follow in the order of 
their usefulness. 

Under each will be given, as far as practicable, a brief 
historical sketch of its origin and derivation, its manu- 
facture and preparation for market, its properties and 
uses, the best and easiest methods of detection if subject 
to adulteration, the enumeration of other substances 
which are injurious and with which it should never be 
combined, and, lastly, any other points of especial interest. 

It was stated in the preface that it was not within the 
scope of this book to treat the subject matter "pigments " 
from the standpoint of the chemist or color-maker, and 
reasons were given why; but the chemistry of most all the 
pigment will at least be briefly noticed simply the 
giving of their component parts, or, where they have a 
recognized formula, the giving of that. In a few of the 
better known ones, a full enumeration of their constituent 
elements will be given, as this is frequently an index as to 
their character; but when the desirability for this occurs, 
it will be done in a way that can be understood by those 
not familiar with chemistry, and in words as free of 
technical expressions as possible. A person needs not to 
be a chemist nor familiar with that science to understand 
a great deal of what constitutes the chemistry of paint; 
good common sense will go a long way with the reader 
to enable him to recognize the true from the false. 

The researches and experiments made in the field of 
color by eminent scientists within the last century 
many by men of the greatest ability, and who were guided 
more by a love of attaining knowledge than with the 
monetary inducements have made the task of writing 
up " pigments " a comparatively easy one. The author 
cannot claim a great amount of originality, nor has he 


made any great discovery himself, so that what he has 
to say is none of his finding out, nor is it the first time 
that it has appeared in print. The present treatise is, in 
the main, one of compilation and arrangement. Nearly 
half a century of practical handling of pigments, and 
experimenting with them in paint factories and in the 
ordinary practice of the paint shop, have helped him 
form some decided opinions about the application and 
mixing of most pigments, and upon this fund of knowl- 
edge the writer has drawn freely and without stint, 
and it is embodied in this treatise with that of others. 

A good knowledge of the properties of pigments is 
imperatively demanded of any one who wishes to be up 
in the paint business, either as a dealer or user. There 
is much to be learned about the proper mixing of pig- 
ments and about vehicles suitable for the various pur- 
poses: the future has a fine field for research in that 
direction, for we do not know it all by long odds, and there 
remains much to be revealed at some time or another. 
Much of what is known now is not of such a character 
that one can absolutely rely upon it; hence so many 
opinions which are diametrically opposed to each other 
about the preparation or application of the simplest of 
mixtures. Humiliating as it may be to one who has 
made a lifetime study of the paint business, the truth 
requires and compels one to acknowledge as much as 
appears above, for what now passes as orthodox in many 
good paint shops, will be classed as rank heresy in others 
of equally good repute. Therefore it is only by a thorough 
and intimate knowledge of pigments, vehicles, and con- 
ditions that any one can hope to grope to half-way 
certainty in sundry instances, and to a fuller one in a very 
few others. If it is so hard to get at the truth for those 
who are constantly studying, what must the practice be 


of those who do not study? Assuredly they can have 
nothing but routine and guesswork. 

There is much to be learned, all are agreed upon that. 
Chemists in the employ of paint manufacturers, and 
others who are inclined to researches in the same direction, 
usually make these their life hobbies; but as it is com- 
monly on the side from their regular work, they are 
somewhat hampered ; but every once in a while one hits 
upon some process or other which is beneficial and help- 
ful in the manner of fixing the coloring matter contained 
in certain pigments more permanently than was ever 
done before, or indeed it may be the discovery of entirely 
new ones. Much has been done, but much still remains 
to be done by the chemists. On the practical side, 
however, there is still a great deal to be learned ; and here 
is work for the thinking painters, and also for the asso- 
ciations of master painters, who can do a great deal of 
good by bringing together those who, while they differ 
in opinions, can compare results, and thus aid in getting 
at true solutions of vexatious questions. 

Many important discoveries of the chemists were 
prompted by suggestions made to them by the tests of 
practical men. Theoretical chemists and practical men 
generally cannot afford to work aloof from each other. 
Either one without the help of the other is more or less 
of a failure. Theory must be proved by practical tests 
to be right. Many chemists are too apt to belittle the 
value of suggestions made by well-posted painters, and 
to regard them too much in the light of useful machines 
for the proper application of paint. There can be little 
wonder that many of their compounds and discoveries 
of new preparations prove of no practical value. The 
Patent Office at Washington, D.C., is a cemetery where 
thousands of inventions in the paint line lie buried, 


unknown and undisturbed, simply because of their 

On the other hand, the painter too often looks at the 
researches of scientific men with a sneer and turns up his 
nose at them. All would find it advantageous to study 
the writings, and make use of the information they would 
find in them, of such men as Chevreuil, G. Field, L. E. 
Andes, J. Lefort, A. H. Church, and many others. Unfor- 
tunately, some of these men's works are now out of 
print, and are to be found only in a few of the larger 
public libraries. 

The German language is richer with valuable scientific 
works on pigments than is the English, but these are 
very expensive, and mainly of interest to men well up in 
chemistry. It is hoped that translations of some of their 
best works may be made, adapted to the popular 


As it was stated in the preceding chapter, to facilitate 
the search for any one given pigment, all have been 
classed into groups of certain colors, and within each 
will be found all which belong to it by being nearer in 
tone than to any other group. It is fitting to commence 
with the whites, as this group is the most important of 
all. The whites are not only important to the painter 
on account of its " self " color and the one self color 
mostly used in painting, and rightly so on account of 
cleanly tone and brightening effect, but also because the 
whites form the base upon which nearly all tints are 
made by the addition of colored pigments. 

The ideal white pigment, is probably present to the aver- 
age painter's mind, but the realization of it, as yet, has 
been far from the ideal one. Every practical user of paint 
who has given much thought to it, has some such ideal 
pigment mapped out in his head. He has ideas of what 
it should be like, all good qualities, with none bad, 
but when he goes out among the realities of life and looks, 
he does not find it. His ideal white pigment is to be found 
only in his mind. A feeble portion of the good qualities 
desired in a white are to be found unassociated with some 
very bad ones in any one white pigment. In actual 
practice it turns out that for every good quality shown, 
there will be found a counterbalancing defect which 
will prove a thorn in the flesh. 



The above is written for the purpose of preparing the 
reader for the defects which are found in all the most 
prominent white pigments, and also to guard him against 
over-confidence or extravagant expectations from the 
use of any. 


White lead is the most prominent and best known 
of any of the white pigments on the list. There are few 
persons to be found, even outside of those connected with 
the paint trade, but who are not more or less familiar with 
or at least have heard of it in some way. Mankind has 
known white lead a long time. It is of very ancient 
antecedents. That the oldest civilizations knew it, is 
evidenced by the remains of their pottery the. glazing 
upon it being obtainable only by the use of white lead. 
Such Latin writers as Pliny and Vitruvius give the 
process of its manufacture from lead and vinegar. It 
was then known under various names, some of which 
have come down to our own times, and which are used 
to designate it to-day. For instance, "Cerusa, minium 
album " in Continental Europe is still known as ceruse 
and white minium. Recent excavations have brought 
to light a number of well-preserved specimens of white 
lead which show that it must have been an article of 
common use in ancient Greece and Egypt. 

The above details are given because many people 
suppose white lead to be a comparatively new dis- 
covery, or at best dating back but a few centuries. It 
is true, however, that only a little over two hundred 
years have elapsed since white lead commenced to be 
manufactured on a large scale by what is known as the 


"Dutch Process." Really, the principles of that system 
are the same as those described by Pliny, the only dif- 
ference being that a different application of the same is 
made use of in the Dutch process. 

While Holland has the honor of having given its name 
to the process that is usually employed in the manufacture 
of white lead to-day, that is, no doubt, due to the fact 
that it was in that country that were made the first efforts 
to manufacture it on a large scale in Europe. It had no 
monopoly of it, for it was not long before manufactories of 
it were to be found scattered in many European countries. 
Factories were started in Germany, France, and England 
not very far behind. Some of these brands of white lead 
soon attained a high degree of excellence, and have 
come down to our own times, their names being still 
used to designate some very fine qualities, such as 
Cremnitz white, for instance, which was manufactured in 
the city of Crems in Germany. Not within the past 
hundred years has there been any white lead manu- 
factured there, but the name still exists, the lead usually 
sold under that name being a flake white. So much, then, 
for good quality; for tradition still preserves it, and per- 
sists in handing a name down to us more than a century 
after the original had ceased to be made. 

The Dutch Process 

The "Dutch process" of corrosion has been handed 
down to us with but few changes from what it was in 
its primitive days. These changes consist only in more 
sensible labor-saving devices for handling the various 
materials used in the manufacture of white lead. 

Before going into the description of the manufacture of 
white lead by the "Dutch process," it will be best under- 


stood if its composition be well studied; therefore the 
chemistry of white lead will now be given. 

The component parts of white lead vary somewhat in 
the several specimens of it. { It is sometimes erroneously 
called a carbonate of lead, but that it is not; at least, it is 
not a pure one. If it was, it would be of little value as a 
pigment, or rather its value would be greatly lessened. 
Really, it is a combination of lead carbonate and lead 
hydrate; the latter is what gives the saponifying and 
binding properties. This hydrate of lead should be 
present in the proportion of 30 to 35 per cent, and the 
carbonate should enter the combination in the propor- 
tion of 65 to 70 per cent. Lead hydrate has the property 
of counteracting the chalking tendency of the carbonate, 
but it has the drawback of rendering white lead less 
opaque or more transparent. White lead should there- 
fore in round numbers have two thirds of its weight of 
carbonate of lead and one third of it the hydrate. Its 
formula is 2PbCO 3 . 

The usual process employed in the manufacture of 
white lead is what is known as the stack system of the so- 
called Dutch process, which name in reality simply stands 
for the chemical process producing the corrosion of the 
lead metal by the agency of dilute acetic acid fumes, 
carbonic acid, hydrogen, oxygen, and heat. The exact 
manner of conversion of the metal into a carbonate is very 
imperfectly understood even at this late day by chemists, 
who in their conclusions merely guess at it with more or 
less plausibility in their theories. It would seem that 
first of all it is converted into an acetate of lead, but as it 
has more affinity for carbonic acid than it has for the 
acetic, that it is transformed into that. As to the "how " 
and "when," this is now clouded in mystery, and it still 
remains for some one to satisfactorily explain. 



The metallic lead used in the manufacture of white 
lead should be soft and free from antimony, silver, or 
any other impurity. If any of them are present in an 
appreciable quantity the corroded lead will not be so 
white and will also be specky. There are large refining 
plants in the United States. The largest in the world 
is located in Newark, N.J., where metallic lead is 
desilvered at low cost, the silver obtained usually paying 
the cost of . processing it. This desilvered metal makes 
the whitest lead. Spanish lead used to be employed by 
some of the eastern corroders, but what with the duties, 
its scarcity and increased cost, it is now but little used. 
Some is employed in making the finer qualities of flake 
white; it makes a dense, and therefore more opaque, 
white lead. 

The pig lead the large and heavy bars of metallic 
lead as they come from the smelters is melted into what 
in corroder's parlance are called buckles. These buckles 
are thin, perforated, circular plates of lead, and are about 
one-sixteenth of an inch thick. The disk-like buckles are 
placed in porous clay jars. These jars have projecting 
knobs on the inside upon which the buckles rest. These 
projections serve the purpose of separating the buckles 
from each other in the jar. This allows a circulation of 
air, heat and of the gaseous attacks of acetic acid vapor 
reaching every part of the buckles, as it can ascend from 
one to the other through the perforations. There is also 
a large space left empty at the bottom of the jar into which 
is poured dilute acetic acid of the strength of vinegar. As 
vinegar owes what value it has as a corroding agent 
to the acetic acid it contains, one can readily see that the 
claim made by some corroders that they use actual 


vinegar instead of dilute acetic acid, and making for this 
a point of superiority, is all " bosh." It is very doubtful 
if any corroder actually uses the vinegar of commerce, 
notwithstanding the claims made. 

After the jars have been filled with buckles to nearly 
the tops, they are put into the " stack." To be more 
accurate, the jars are placed upon the floor of the stack 
in rows, and are filled from a large box containing buckles 
of lead which come from the melting room and shaping 
machine, and placed there in these boxes, which are 
carried to the corroding stack houses on an overhead 
railway which takes them wherever wanted, and from 
which they can be raised and lowered at will. After all 
the jars in the tier have been filled, the dilute acetic acid 
is fed to each jar from a hose in short order. 

The stacks themselves are compartments inside the 
corroding houses. They are boarded up, and extend 
from the ground floor to the upper one, which is the work- 
ing floor. The diagram will give an idea of the arrange- 
ment. The corroding buildings may be of any length 
with any number or size of stacks inside of them. Many 
of the big corroding plants have a number of corroding 
houses. Some of the stacks inside of the same building 
may be idle or in many of the different stages of corrosion, 
each stack being independent of the one next to it. Thus 
one can see in the same corroding house, one or more 
stacks being filled up with buckles and jars, others 
engaged in the corrosion process, while others again are 
being emptied and cleaned out. It was stated that the 
corroding agent was dilute acetic acid of the strength of 
vinegar, but that without heat would produce an acetate 
of lead only. So heat must be generated and carbonic 
acid must be developed. To produce both of these, the 
corroder uses spent tan bark, stable manure, or a com- 


bination of both. Most people have seen how the market 
gardeners generate heat in their hot-beds in the coldest 
weather by using stable manure; the process is the same 
that the corroder employs. A layer of this material is 
first placed upon the ground floor of the stack, and 
leveled up, and a layer of jars placed upon it. Upon the 
jars a layer of boards is placed to keep out the next 
layer of manure which is placed upon the boards, then 
another of jars, then of boards, then of manure again, 
and this is repeated over and o.ver until the stack has been 
filled nearly to the level of the working alley above. 

Each one of the layers in the stack has a chimney of 
its own. This chimney consists of four boards nailed 
together, and reaches to the top of the stack and acts as 
an indicator to what is going on at each tier. The chim- 
neys are kept open or shut according to requirements. 

The heat generated by the tan bark and manure 
vaporizes the acetic acid in the jars, and then the process 
of corrosion goes on until all the acid has been evaporated 
and all the heat has been spent. It usually takes from 
75 to 90 days to accomplish this, and when it has ex- 
hausted itself the layers are ready to take down. During 
the generation of heat, carbonic acid is produced, and it 
is from this source that it is supplied to the lead. 

The pots when taken down are emptied into large 
revolving cylinders which separate the white lead from 
any that remains uncorroded. The white lead is after- 
wards washed through several waters to free it from any 
acetate of lead or from free acetic acid that may be pres- 
ent with it. Acetate of lead is entirely soluble in water, 
and can thus be readily gotten rid of. 

The lead is then ground in water to free it still further 
from any acetate remaining, and finally filtered through 
a fine silk cloth which catches any specks of tan or 


manure that may have found their way into the pots and 
that the numerous washings of the lead have not removed. 

The white lead is now run into large vats, where it is 
allowed to settle. The "pulp/' as the mass of settled 
lead is called, is taken to the drying pans, which are in a 
separate chamber built for that purpose. This chamber 
is fitted with steam pipes all around it, so that a very hot 
atmosphere can be maintained until the lead in the pans 
as the large, low vats are called into which the pulp is 
placed is bone dry. ' 

The lead is then crushed, and it is ready to sell, either 
as dry lead for grinding with oil as white lead, or for 
pottery use and the making of queensware and some 
varieties of chinaware. Lead ground in oil is the only 
form in which the painters usually see it. 

To grind white lead in oil, the dry lead is first mixed 
with the quantity of linseed oil necessary to grind it, 
say about nine pounds and a half of oil to the hundred- 
weight of dry lead. It is first triturated in revolving 
mixers, from which it is carried mechanically to the 
grinding mills proper, where it is ground either double or 
single. The double mills pass the lead from the first to 
the second without manual labor. 

The speed at which the mills are made to revolve 
during the grinding, and the lesser or greater amount of 
heat developed consequently by that speed, make the 
ground lead paste either tough and stringy in texture, or 
else short and soft. The white lead itself has nothing 
to do with it, as many erroneously suppose. From the 
same batch of dry lead, the grinder can turn out either 
kind or any intermediary degree between the two extremes 
simply by adjusting the speed of his mills. 

White lead after grinding undergoes some mechanical 
change in its atoms, but the change is not a chemical 


one. It should be perfectly cooled before it is packaged. 
Many manufacturers put it in large, tank-like kettles, 
which are surrounded with water. This makes the lead 
more unctuous, and gives it better working qualities. 
Lead so cooled will not harden in the packages, which 
sometimes happens when it is run directly from the 
grinding mills into them. 

It was stated in the previous paragraph that lead 
acquires smoothness and better working qualities when 
it has been properly ripened in large masses before pack- 
ing. Few manufacturers give it time enough for the 
process to become completed; all are in a hurry to turn 
over the product into money, and four to six months' 
extra waiting is hard on them after all the time which 
has been required since the pig lead was melted. 

There is another system of grinding white lead, which 
is known as the "Pulp Process." The manufacturers call 
it, pulp ground, but in reality the lead is not ground at 
all that is, it receives no other grinding than that which 
it received when it was ground with water previous to its 
becoming pulp. In that condition it is certainly finer 
than it is possible or rather practicable to grind the 
crushed bone-dry lead in linseed oil by many repeated 
grindings in the mills. 

The wet "pulped " lead is run through presses by some; 
but nearly all manufacturers who make a "pulp ground" 
lead, withdraw the pulp as soon as it has settled down 
from the water, and take it direct to a " chaser." 

A chaser is a circular, low-sided vat, in which revolves 
a heavy roller. This roller crushes and mixes liquids and 
solids together into an homogeneous mass. Chasers are 
used in preparing putty, etc. 

White lead has a great affinity for linseed oil ; for water 
it has none at all. The pulped lead having been placed 


in the chaser, linseed oil is poured on it and the machinery 
is set to work; the lead, having more affinity for the oil, 
absorbs it, and the water is squeezed out by the weighty 
roller, a way of escape being provided for it, and in a 
short time it becomes displaced by the linseed oil which 
has been absorbed in its stead. 

There is no question about the fineness of pulp lead 
if it has been properly ground before pulping it, nor can 
there be any about its whiteness. Many have consider- 
able doubts about the possibility of extracting all the 
water out of the lead. Some well-posted men claim that 
three to five per cent of it remain; others again put these 
figures still higher. 

Practical painters who have used pulp-ground lead 
for years say that it has acted no better nor no worse than 
other leads ground in the usual way. All, however, are 
not a unit in this testimony, and some claim that it 
chalks more readily. A person will be on the safe side if 
slow in adopting its use exclusively, but should proceed 
slowly in coming to a conclusion. By using it side by 
side with the old kinds, and noting its action, in time 
he may decide for or against its adoption. All things 
being equal, pulped lead has some good points in its 
favor,~ but time only, and lots of it, will decide its universal 

There seem to be very little and surely no material 
differences in the methods of corroding lead used by the 
lead manufacturers, excepting possibly that some few 
have more mechanical labor-saving devices than the rest. 
Few improvements have been made other than those 
mentioned, and those mainly since the introduction of 
steam and other motive powers which have replaced 
animal and human energy wherever it was found practi- 


To sum up the Dutch process of corroding white lead 
in as few words as possible, it amounts to this: It is the 
corrosion of metallic lead by aid of acetic acid, carbonic 
acid, oxygen, and hydrogen. 

When it was said in preceding paragraphs that there 
have been no improvements to speak of in the manu- 
facture of lead by the Dutch process, this was meant in so 
far as the original application of the principle and of the 
system carried " on by the Dutch and other European 
corroders of the long ago, the stack method. 

There is a new way of applying the same principles and 
agents of corrosion used in the Dutch process. Manu- 
facturers who corrode lead in the new way, claim that 
they produce a white lead which has absolutely the same 
chemical composition as that produced by the stack 
system, that its atomic formation is the same, that its 
working qualities are the same and in some respects 
better, in short, that it is the same. 

It is not intended to pass an opinion upon the claims 
made by these gentlemen, nor to certify to their verity. 
What is here said must not be construed into an unquali- 
fied indorsement of them. They have some strong 
cards in their hands, and they seem to understand how 
to play them. That their system of corrosion saves 
much time and many manipulations, cannot be gainsaid; 
that it appeals to the intellect as being more progressive 
than the other, is also true. It gives the manufacturers a 
more perfect control of the action of the corroding 
agents in the process of corrosion, thus placing them in 
a position to make more uniform products. 

Several manufacturers representing millions of capital 
have been corroding by the cylinder system for the past 
twenty -five years; others are adopting it in America and 
European countries. In the United States some two or 


three factories using that system have a very large out- 
put. The practical men, the painters who use it, are 
seemingly well satisfied, so it looks very much as if the 
system had passed out of the experimental stage and that 
it was going to remain with us. 

This cylinder method is very simple and easily under- 
stood. To all intents and purposes other than the 
manner of making the white lead it is entitled to have 
its product called " Dutch process " white lead as well 
as that produced by the stack system if the 
proposition laid down in a former paragraph be the 
correct one. It is repeated below in a shorter form: 
That the name " Dutch process" stands for lead 
corroded by the agency of acetic and carbonic acids, 
oxygen and hydrogen. 

The operations for the corroding of lead by the cylinder 
system are few. In the first place, the pig lead is melted 
and poured in a stream against which a jet of steam is 
made to play. This pulverizes the lead into fine, sandlike 
particles. This lead sand is placed in revolving cylinders 
connected with generators wherein acetic acid and car- 
bonic acid gases or vapors are evolved, and hydrogen and 
oxygen supplied to the cylinders at will, the supply 
being regulated so that correct proportions of each will 
be available during the period of corrosion. 

The particles of lead sand, being so very small, are 
quickly acted upon by the corroding agents, as the slowly 
revolving cylinders keep this fine sand in constant com- 
motion so that no part of it can remain unexposed to the 
direct action of the attacking vapors, the particles con- 
stantly changing their location and presenting new 
faces to their attacks. Thus in a few days is accom- 
plished what would have required months by the older 


The cylinder system excels the stack system in more 
ways than one. The corrosion is more perfectly done, and 
there remains but a very small percentage of " blue " 
lead as the uncorroded lead is called compared 
with the other system. To all intents and purposes, it 
might be called a complete corrosion. 

As most of the condemnation of the white lead produced 
by the cylinder system can usually be traced to those 
financially interested in the white lead produced by the 
older system, one should take such statements with the 
allowance of a grain of salt, and discount them to their 
just values. 

It is presumable that poor lead can be and is produced 
by both the stack or cylinder systems; and again, that 
good lead can be made by both. If a lead is perfectly 
white, fine, free of surplus moisture other than that which 
chemically belongs to it; if it has good opacity and 
excellent working qualities, we need have no hesitation 
in using it whether it has been made by one or the other 

Properties of White Lead 

White lead stands head and shoulders above any other 
white pigment in so far as opacity or covering proper- 
ties are concerned when ground in oil or japan. Con- 
sequently it is used more than any of the others; in fact, 
much more than all the others put together several times 
over. Its working qualities under the brush are superior 
to any others, this being caused by the white lead com- 
bining chemically with the linseed oil and forming a 
linoleate lead soap which works freely and smoothly 
under the brush, enabling the painter to apply it evenly 
with a minimum amount of labor. 


It is not alone useful as a white pigment for painting 
surfaces in its own or self color, but it is used to even a 
larger extent as a base upon which all the lighter tints 
are made by addition of coloring matter. 

Were it not for a few defects, white lead would certainly 
be the ideal white pigment instead of being only the most 
useful one. It has already been hinted that a lead which 
contains too much hydrate of lead in its composition 
would be somewhat deficient in opacity, and that if it 
contained very much more than two thirds of the car- 
bonate it would be likely to chalk badly, or worse 
than the ordinary. No matter what the proportions of 
hydrate and carbonate the white lead may have in its 
composition, in time it will chalk if exposed to the action 
of the elements. 

In the best leads the process of disintegration (for 
that is what chalking means) commences in about one 
or two years after its application, usually in an inappre- 
ciative manner, and continues until in time one can rub it 
off the building by simply passing the hand over it. As 
stated, this chalking is very gradual and hardly notice- 
able at first. The chalking can be hastened or retarded 
somewhat by the improper or proper use made of the 
binding vehicle; also by the improper or proper admixture 
of other pigments. 

White lead is a good drier of linseed oil, and requires 
but a very small admixture of artificial driers to hasten 
its drying; and out of doors, excepting in cold or wet 
weather, none are needed. Driers seem to kill the elasti- 
city of linseed oil, and to hasten its decay, so that when 
used at all in connection with white lead, it should be 
done with very modest doses. 

Only raw linseed oil should be used with white lead for 
outside painting. The raw oil is much more elastic and 


penetrating than the boiled, nor will the chalking com- 
mence as soon when it has been employed than it would 

The greater the quantity of raw linseed oil that can 
be incorporated with the lead and make it cover fairly, 
the longer the time before chalking will begin. It stands 
to reason, therefore, that as a small proportion of volatile 
oils should be used in outdoor painting in addition to 
raw linseed oil as will accomplish the legitimate end in 
using it at all, i.e., of rendering the paint more fluid and 
of making it set more quickly. The above applies with 
even greater force to the last or finishing coat, where 
volatile oils should be dispensed with entirely wherever 
possible to do so. It is somewhat harder work to 
properly spread paint so mixed, that is admitted, 
but it can be done. White lead seldom chalks upon 
inside work that is not exposed to the weather, and what 
has just been said is not applicable to indoor painting. 

White lead is injuriously acted upon by the action of 
sulphureted hydrogen vapors, which will quickly turn 
it black. That gas converts it into the black sulphide of 
lead. This will sometimes occur m a single night, there- 
fore its use should never be resorted to in localities where 
this gas is likely to develop. 

There is one grade of white lead which is best known as 
flake white. It differs in no wise from ordinary lead 
excepting in that it is a selected white lead. The flakes 
which drop off the buckles corroded by the stack system, 
have given it the name. This outer covering of the 
buckles is superior in opacity to that from which the 
flakes fell off and which comes next to the core or uncor- 
roded lead that is more imperfectly corroded, and which 
in ordinary lead is averaged with the flakes and forms the 
white lead of commerce. Therefore flake white desig- 


nates a quality of white lead of superior corrosion and 
which possesses extra good body. 

The same objectionable features enumerated as apper- 
taining to ordinary white lead, apply to this with as 
much force. It is used mainly by decorators and sign 
painters for striping in car shops and carriage factories, 
for coaches, buses and wagons, in fact, wherever an 
extra good-bodied lead is demanded. 

Every nation has its own system of packaging, grading 
qualities and marketing white lead, therefore one will not 
find the same rules nor trade customs in the United States 
as prevail in the United Kingdom, nor upon the continent 
of Europe. 

In the United States an unwritten law has developed 
which says that upon all packages on the label of which 
the manufacturer's name is placed and the words 
" Strictly Pure" are used that the contents of the 
package are free of any adulterating material and 
contain nothing but pure white lead ground in pure 
linseed oil. 

It is, however, true that some jobbers mark some fake 
leads as strictly pure, which are far from being so and which 
are adulterated to the bitter end; but then, they withhold 
from them their own names and adopt some flaring name 
or label which misleads no one aside from the unsophisti- 
cated and ruralists who wish to buy pure lead at half its 
market value. 

So if a lead package put up in the -United States bears 
no corroder's name nor the legend " Strictly Pure" upon 
it, one may take an oath and swear that its contents are 
adulterated. He can do so without ever having seen an 
analysis of it, and without the least fear of committing 
perjury. None such is pure. It is an adulterated lead, 
or what is known as a compound lead. 


It is not within the province of this treatise to enter 
into an endless review of the merits or demerits of com- 
pounded leads, nor of the superiority and better wearing 
qualities claimed for them by their manufacturers over 
that of the strictly pure. 

There can be little doubt, that proper combinations of 
other pigments with white lead are beneficial for many 
purposes. The painter should be well enough posted to 
do this compounding himself to suit the particular job 
upon which the compound is to be used. Certain com- 
pounds or combinations of pigments are better adapted 
to sundry conditions than they are to any other; and no 
ready-prepared compound, even when honestly made 
after a uniform formula, is likely to meet his requirements 
fully in this regard, however good it may be for the right 

A man well posted upon the various qualities and 
defects of the white pigments should be able to pick out 
the proper corrective ones to combine with white lead to 
suit any job. If it be old, open or spongy, it certainly will 
require to be treated differently from a surface which is 
close or non-absorbing. 

There are, no doubt, very good lead compounds upon 
the market which will give desirable results for painting 
under certain conditions to which they are admirably 
adapted, but which will cause some trouble and always 
mortification elsewhere. As a rule, there is no real 
advantage to be gained from their use. They are not 
as economical as those similar in composition and com- 
pounded at the shop from strictly pure white lead and 
other correctives bought as such. 

Barytes, or the native barium sulphate (heavy spar), 
plays an important function as an adulterant of white 
lead ; for that matter, it does in the adulteration of nearly 


all other pigments. But it is preeminently adapted as 
a makeweight for white lead: its heavy weight comes 
nearest of any other to that of white lead. Its trans- 
parency, too, in oil is another reason why that substance 
is so well adapted for the purpose of its or any pigment's 
adulteration, because it will not discolor them. More 
will be said regarding barytes under its proper heading, 
and the reader is referred there for the particular details 
and characteristics belonging to that pigment. The one 
object why it was entered into here is because it was 
necessary to point out the main source of adulteration in 
connection with the "off brands" of white lead as are 
best known and called all brands of lead that are not 
strictly pure. Compound leads which are sold as such, 
are not included in the "off brands," but are known in 
the trade as "compounds." 

Compound leads are not necessarily adulterated leads, 
because in the first place they do not claim to be strictly 
pure lead. They are legitimate articles of commerce, 
and stand upon their own merits. Painters buy them 
with a full knowledge of what they are, and from having 
had some previous experience with them, which in some 
instances has been well paid for. 

The same substances which may be used in a legitimate 
way in a compound lead, and of whose presence the buyer 
is well aware, may be and are rightly called adulterants 
when combined with lead which the purchaser is led to 
suppose is pure white lead. 

For this reason, gypsum, china clay, carbonate 
of lime, or even the sulphate of lead, which are all 
used in the adulteration of white lead, are not such 
when the purchaser buys a compound lead, as the 
attempt is not made to parade them as something which 
they are not. 



This lead salt is never sold under that name in the 
supply stores. It is only within a comparatively short 
time that it has come to be talked about in connection 
with paint or mixtures of paint. 

It is a by-product of several industries, and until lately 
it has had but little commercial value other than that 
which inherently belongs to it, as, if it could be 
reduced to its metallic form, it would be worth the price 
of metallic lead less the cost of conversion, which is 

It can be readily made by simply adding sulphuric 
acid to the solution of a lead salt; then it becomes^ pre- 
cipitated as a white powder which is insoluble in water 
and absolutely so in alcohol. 

Its insolubility makes it non-poisonous. If it pos- 
sessed a good body, or, in other Words, had it more opa- 
city, it would be a very, desirable pigment^ It is not as 
pure toned a white when ground in oil as is white lead. 
It is not readily affected by the vapors of sulphureted 
hydrogen. Its chemical formula is PbSO 4 . 

Sulphate of lead is never used alone as a pigment, but 
as an adjunct to some brands of white lead, and largely 
so in ready-mixed paints. Its chief use in paint mate- 
rial manufacture is for such grinders as put out a brand 
of white lead which they mark as strictly pure. It 
enables them to place a product upon the market for 
which they can vouch as strictly pure lead, but is no 
more entitled to be so called than sugar of lead would 
be. When sold as "strictly pure" lead, sulphate of lead 
is as much entitled to be called an adulterant as barytes, 
other substances which have no business to be 


It is used advantageously in color making such as the 
lemon or canary chrome yellow but in the above they 
are really the result of the use of sulphuric acid in 
the making of the color, and not because they are placed 


Sublimed lead is a certain form of sulphate of lead 
which is obtained by sublimation in Southwestern Mis- 
souri, and to which much of what was said of sulphate 
of lead proper does not apply. While it is still somewhat 
deficient in opacity as compared with hydro-carbonate 
white lead, it comes next to it in that respect, and is 
used extensively by mixed-paint manufacturers in pre- 
paring those goods. 

It is basic sulphate of lead; contains about one fifth 
of lead oxide and about five per cent of zinc oxide the 
ores from which it is made containing zinc in combination 
with the lead. It is sublimed in a manner somewhat 
similar to that described under tne heading of Zinc White. 

One property entitling it to consideration is its non- 
poisonous character. Another good point is that being 
an oxysulphate of lead it is not subject to turning black 
by sulphureted hydrogen gases, and is so extremely fine 
that it does not settle readily in an oily vehicle. It is 
also very white when mixed in oil, which cannot be said 
of sulphate of lead. 


This form of lead pigment is obtained by precipitation. 
By a modified method of manufacture, it is much superior 
to the product obtained originally. In this modified 
process it is first reduced to a downy or feathery state, 
after which it is placed in stationary tanks where it is sub- 


jected to the action of dilute acetic acid which converts 
it into a basic acetate of lead. The solution is subjected 
to the action of a stream of carbonic acid, which, as already 
said, lead having more affinity for it than it has for acetic 
acid, combines with it, and is precipitated in the form of 
basic carbonate of lead. 

It differs from Dutch and similar process leads in that 
instead of being crystalline it is amorphous in its par- 
ticles. It therefore does not possess quite so much 
opacity, but is a greater absorbent of linseed oil. Natu- 
rally from its amorphousness it is very fine, and runs 
uniform in composition. It is, however, too soon to form 
a decided opinion of its merits, whatever it may present 


Periodically somebody or other discovers or rather 
thinks he does something new in a white pigment of 
lead derivation which in his estimation is sure to 
displace the hydrate oxide of lead, and that his discovery 
is sure to fill the "long felt want" of a pigment one 
that is white, non-poisonous, not injured by noxious 
gases, and for which they claim a string of virtues too good 
to be true and too numerous to mention. These great 
discoverers appear as regularly as the seventeen-year 
locust, and the wreckage of the last of them is hardly 
cleared away before somebody else turns up ready to 
launch out a new venture which proves similar to the 
ones which have gone before; but as it is launched 
out under a new name, it takes a little time before it is 

It seems that some people will never learn that oxides 
of lead all have the property of solidifying into a hard 


mass inside of the package containing them in the shape 
of a ground paste, if ground with linseed oil. Yet one 
after another of the discoverers seems to be able to enlist 
men with capital to back their foolish ventures, and men 
of good business capacity and caution in other respects 
try to accomplish the impossible i.e., grinding lead 
oxides with linseed oil. 

The white oxide, the monoxide (litharge), the bioxide 
(red lead), the teroxide (orange mineral), all have the 
same peculiarity of solidifying in time when ground in 
linseed oil. When the retailers who are not posted, have 
keg after keg returned to them after a few months 
with occasionally a claim for damages it proves to be 
the beginning of the end for " oxide of lead " in that 

Some in sheer desperation have gone so far as to grind 
it in soft linseed oil soap, as, when ground in that, it 
remains in a smooth, soft paste; but, as one could readily 
expect, it is soon found out and the " jig is up." The 
history of defunct concerns in this connection would make 
good reading on short-sightedness for the rising generation. 

There have been, and some firms are to-day trying, 
experiments with other salts and forms of lead. Time 
may prove some of value; none so far have any claim 
to superiority over the old hydrate-carbonate. All as 
yet have so many defects that the very grave ones 
admitted as belonging to white lead look small compared 
with them. 

The Blowpipe Test 

Adulteration in white lead and many other forms of 
lead is readily detected by the use of the blowpipe. 
This simple test is within reach of every paint dealer or 
painter. It is simple and easily made: A piece of soft 
charcoal, such as is made from willow, to lay the lead upon, 


an ordinary candle or spirit lamp, and a blowpipe. This 
is simply a small metal tube curved at the end. The* 
curved end has a very small aperture, and that is placed 
against the flame of the candle while the operator blows 
in the other end of it; this throws a stream of blue flame 
from the candle to the charcoal, or to that part of it 
rather where the lead is laid upon it, the operator holding 
the piece of charcoal in his left hand. The blowing 
should be regular and steady, and in a minute or two 
at most the oil will be burned out, and the white lead 
will be converted into a blue lead globule. 

If it has been adulterated with lead sulphate, barytes 
or whiting, china clay, etc., the lead cannot be reduced 
to a metallic state by any amount of blowing. There 
will be a mass of dry white, yellowish or grayish color 
according to the adulterant, but no lead will show up. 
As small a percentage as 10 per cent of adulteration 
mixed with the lead will prevent its reducing; as no 
lead is ever adulterated with such a small percentage 
as . that, there will be no difficulty in finding it with the 

If the adulterant is sulphate of lead, it can be found by 
the great difficulty of its reduction; few men can use the 
blowpipe steady or long enough so to reduce it, as it 
takes much more heat to do so. That form of it men- 
tioned as sublimed lead is practically irreducible by the 
blowpipe; it takes over 1200 F. So one may look with 
suspicion upon any white lead that does not readily 
reduce in two minutes. 

One can form a good idea of the purity of lead by putting 
a little of the lead paste upon a sliver of pine wood, and 
burning a match or two underneath it. If it is pure, little 
globules of metallic lead will appear in the paste, which 
will not be the case if the lead is impure. 


The blowpipe test is valuable only to test the purity 
of hyd-oxi-carbonate of lead the white lead of com- 
merce. It will not apply to many of the white salts of 
that metal, as some fuse only at extreme temperatures 
or by the use of fluxes which none but experienced men 
can conduct successfully. 

The present tendency in some quarters to recognize as 
" white lead/' in a commercial way, the basic sulphate 
of lead or sublimed lead would of course nullify the test; 
but why, if, as claimed, oxy-sulphate of lead is superior 
to Dutch process hyd-oxi-carbonate the standard white 
lead of commerce should it seek to shelter itself under 
the name adopted for an entirely different pigment? 

Will it not be better for both to retain their present 
designations which have a definite meaning, and if sub- 
limed lead proves itself the superior, it should be entitled 
to a distinctive name by which purchasers can purchase 
it with a certainty that it has not been adulterated with 
Dutch process lead, and it should not seek to shelter itself 
under its time-honored appellation? 

The above is written not as a disparagement or as an 
indorsement of one or the other forms of leads, but in 
hope of saving the white lead and sublimed lead indus- 
tries from future confusion, whereas now the two are 
distinctly known and recognizable under their commercial 

WHITE PIGMENTS (Continued') 

V / 

ZINC WHITE as a pigment is of much more recent origin 
than that of white lead, and does not date back much 
farther than threescore and ten years. It was known 
before that, and it had been used in water colors a few 
years previously. As an oil pigment, however, it may be 
called a recent one. It would in all likelihood have been 
used for years before it was, but for the difficulty en- 
countered in making it dry properly; and writers in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century incidentally mention 
the probability and possibility of its becoming a useful 
pigment. However, it was in the forties that it was first 
used as an oil paint with a drying oil by Leclaire in France. 
From that time to the present, its use has steadily grown 
and extended. 

It took a long while at first to break down the pre- 
judices then existing against its use, and which even now 
prevent many from using it. So the advent of this pig- 
ment to popularity has been slow. It has had a hard 
time to establish itself firmly. 

Chemistry and Manufacture 

There are two very distinct qualities of zinc white. 
The better quality is known to the trade as " French" 


zinc, and the other as " American" zinc; both have the 
same chemical composition, oxide of zinc. 

French zinc is that which is made from the zinc metal, 
while American zinc so-called is made directly from the 
zinc ore. It will be seen that the terms used to designate 
these two qualities are more arbitrary than strictly 
true at least, such is the fact to-day. It does not do 
America justice to call the poorer zinc after it, but, as we 
have seen in the case of Cremnitz white, names stick. No 
amount of reasoning is likely to change it any more than 
in another glaring instance, i.e., English and American 
Venetian red. 

The French are no doubt entitled to the honor of 
having first used this valuable pigment; also of having 
first produced it in a commercial way; so that importers, 
brokers, and paint manufacturers gave it the name, and 
habit still forces the name to remain. France never had 
a monopoly of its manufacture, and Belgium produces 
one of the most esteemed of its brands the " Vielle 
Montagne" zincs. 

Within the past twenty or twenty-five years, works 
have been established in the United States which are 
producing zinc oxide by the "French" process which is 
certainly equal in quality to that made in any country. 
It is sold as ''French " zinc, and the grinders pay as good 
a price for it as for that which is imported. 

The process of manufacturing zinc white is very sim- 
ple. The metal is vaporized by heat in retorts, whence 
it is carried to a chamber where the vaporized zinc comes 
in contact with air containing oxygen, for which 
element it has a great affinity. It combines with the 
oxygen, and is at once converted into an oxide of zinc. 
This oxide of zinc is gathered into a series of sacks or 
small chambers suspended with the mouths opening 


downward. That which is lightest and whitest is 
deposited farthest from the point of entrance of the 
vapor; the heavier is also the darker and is deposited 
nearest. This darkness is caused by impurities con- 
sisting mainly of unconverted metal, which prevent the 
grading of the zinc white as first quality. 

Zinc oxide made thus is very light and flocky, 
resembling in a manner snow or eiderdown. It is 
selected and graded according to quality, whiteness, 
etc.; after which it is submitted to the action of 
powerful compressing machinery under intense heat; 
then it becomes the article of commerce known as 
"Dry Zinc White." 

Vast quantities of it are annually consumed in that 
shape for distemper work, for the better class of kalso- 
mining, etc.; either alone as a white, or in combination 
with whiting or gypsum or with coloring matter in the 
making of certain tints. 

For use in linseed oil painting, it is ground either in a 
strong drying oil which has been previously treated to 
discolor it, or in drying poppy seed oil for the finer grades 
of work. 

It is usually packed in tin cans ranging from one to 
twenty-five pounds each. Both the French and the 
American zincs are sold in two qualities according to 
their whiteness. The whitest and best is sold as Green 
Seal zinc white, while that which is of a darker shade is 
sold as Red Seal. These are usually found in the output 
of all grinders of zinc, and they have come to be under- 
stood as meaning first and second quality. They are 
used upon all grades of zinc ground in linseed oil or poppy 
seed oil, except upon the very lowest and cheapest grades 
of American zincs, which, in addition to being of poor 
zinc, are usually adulterated. 


American zinc is made in precisely the same manner as 
that described for French zinc, with the exception that 
instead of using zinc metal, zinc ore is employed in its 
place. It is made from the vaporization of the ore, the 
oxidation being the same; the process in all respects being 
identical, and so are the after treatments. 

From the impurities contained in the ore, one may well 
surmise that the product cannot be equal in either white- 
ness or quality to that made from the metal itself. Both 
systems are now used in the United States, but, as stated 
before, it is only in recent years that it has been made 
here from the metal. 

The chemical formula of zinc white is ZnO. It is the 
only oxide of that metal and the only one of its many 
salts that is of any use as pigment to the painter. 

Tests for Purity 

The purity is easily tested. If it is in a dry powder, 
it will dissolve readily without effervescence in either 
dilute nitric or hydrochloric acid. 

If it has been adulterated with barium sulphate, that 
substance will not be acted upon by the acids. It will 
be left undissolved in the shape of a white powder at the 
bottom of the dish. If there is effervescence during the 
dissolving of the zinc white by the acids, the presence of 
lime in the shape of carbonate of lime or whiting is plainly 

If the zinc to be tested is ground in oil or varnish, it 
should be agitated thoroughly in benzine or naphtha, 
which will dissolve the linseed oil out of it. Let it rest 
and deposit after the agitation has been thoroughly done, 
then pour out the benzine and repeat the same operation 
until it is thoroughly free from the oil. After drying the 
powder which will be done quickly if left in the open 


air it can be used in the test precisely as was described 
for the dry zinc white. 

Zinc white is not affected by sulphureted hydrogen 
gases, nor by sulphurous vapors of any kind. 

Properties and Uses 

Oxide of zinc, or zinc white as it is best known to the 
paint trade, has had its praises sung to all kinds of tunes 
in every civilized country where paint is used. It 
deserves a good deal of this admiration, and is one of the 
most valuable additions to the list of white pigments, and 
really is indispensable in the well-regulated paint shop. 
It should be used as a component part in many a mixture. 
But much of the praise we hear should be carefully 
weighed and conclusions slowly reached. It will hardly 
do to swallow the whole of the flattery, at least not to the 
extent some would have it, that of discarding the old 
standby, white lead, and substituting for its use that 
of zinc white. While some of its friends are extravagant 
and unquestionably go too far, it is nevertheless an 
excellent pigment in its proper place. When judiciously 
used, it is invaluable, and will give every satisfaction. If 
used, as it sometimes is, in a haphazard, hit-or-miss sort 
of way, it will not take many years before sorrow will 
come of it, and the painter's reputation goes a-fishing. 

For interior work in either distemper or enamel, zinc 
white is greatly to be preferred to any other white pig- 
ment, and its praises may be sung in a very high pitch. 
Then it deserves the homage of every painter and 
decorator in the land. Its freedom from the attacks 
of white lead's greatest enemies sulphurous fumes 
compels its use under all circumstances where these are 


It is true that the French government is throwing its 
influence in favor of the use of zinc and discouraging the 
use of white lead, and has passed some very stringent 
legislation in regard thereto. Simmered down to its real 
value , this means that journeymen painters in that 
country, either through bad habits or careless use of 
white lead, are more subject to lead poisoning than those 
of other nations. These have circulated petitions, held 
mass meetings, and have forced upon the attention of the 
government what they choose to call " the evils of white 
lead." The legislation in a great measure is the result of 
this agitation. True, nothing but zinc can go on to public 
buildings, etc. This is heralded and made use of to the 
limit, by those most interested in its manufacture and 
sale; nevertheless, when all the facts in the case are fear- 
lessly looked into, it means but little. 

All public buildings, and nearly all others of any sort, 
are of stone in France. The painting is principally that 
of the interiors and some of the doors and blinds, which 
are usually painted in colors and not with zinc on the 
outside. Some few are painted white, or in tints made 
from white zinc as a base, and they show very plainly that 
had the government been as careful to take the advice 
of more practical men instead of that of theorists, and 
had not to knuckle under the goods handled by the 
journeymen who are voters, and their friends who are 
voters too, there would be less cracked paint to be 
burned off than there is to-day and will continue to be. 
It is only a question of time when the practice will have 
to be abandoned, as the French are no greater lovers of 
eyesores in the shape of paint scales than any other 

The particles or atoms of zinc white have a great 
affinity for each other. As has been already related 


when describing the manufacture of zinc white, the 
atoms cling together like snow or eiderdown interweaving 
each other, and that they are compressed by powerful 
machinery. This adherence and brotherly embracing of 
each other in these atoms is remarkable, and stands as the 
very opposite of that of the atoms of white lead, which 
have no affinity whatever for each other. This in part 
explains why lead chalks so easily. When the binding 
of the linseed oil which holds the atoms together 
begins to decay, they begin also to drop and loosen 
from each other they fall singly, having nothing to 
hold them. 

The reverse condition takes place with zinc white. Its 
atoms have such an affinity for each other that they hold 
together in a solid mass. When the oil has so decayed 
that it can no longer bind the zinc and hold it against the 
building, the paint cracks and gradually loosens from 
it, forming a scale which will eventually drop away in a 
mass in the same way and manner as the bark does from 
the Buttonwood or sycamore tree. 

While the use of zinc white alone for outside painting 
is not to be recommended, a combination of it in proper 
proportions with white lead will in a good measure 
counteract the inherent defects appertaining to each. 
The tenacity of the zinc white will retard the falling away 
of the white lead; and that, in return for the good deed 
done it, will help to prevent the excessive tenacity of the 

There can be no set rule formulated giving the exact 
proportion that each should have in making up a com- 
bination. Under certain conditions, lead paint to which 
25 per cent of zinc white has been added may crack and 
scale, while again under others as much as 60 or even 80 
per cent would not affect it injuriously. 


As this treatise is written for the purpose of giving 
information that concerns pigments, and not upon the 
application of paint, details therefore which properly 
belong to a book on painting cannot fully be elucidated 
here. Possibilities are indicated to show what the 
properties of the pigments are and how to correct some 
of their bad points. Generally speaking, therefore, a 
paint for ordinary surfaces should not contain more than 
20 to 25 per cent of zinc to 75 or 80 per cent of white lead 
for outside painting. The figures given are conservative, 
and circumstances might alter them considerably. 

The non-drying properties of zinc white have already 
been mentioned. It is therefore necessary to add some 
driers to the linseed oil used in its application. This is 
especially the more essential if raw linseed oil be used ; and 
it is really the only one which should be employed in con- 
nection with zinc white for outside painting, on account of 
its greater elasticity, which lessens its tendency to crack 
and scale, by lengthening the period until decay com- 

For distemper painting, aside from its beautiful white 
tone when used alone, or the clearness of the tints made 
from it and the addition of coloring pigments, it has also 
a soft, satin-like finish impossible to produce with whiting 
or gypsum whites. Therein lies the secret of many a 
kalsominer, whose work is so much superior to that of 
others who do not use it and have not discovered its value. 
The former are looked for and kept busy while the latter 
are looking around for work. The clearness of tints made 
with zinc is not confined to distemper work, but is still 
more strikingly noticeable when tints are made from pig- 
ments ground in oil, and zinc white in oil or poppy-seed oil. 




General Remarks 

EARTH WHITES are so named to distinguish that class 
of white pigments which owe their origin to mother earth 
in contradistinction to those which are derived from a 
metallic origin, as lead and zinc. 

None of the earth whites are as valuable to the work- 
man in oil, painting; in this respect they are entirely 
different from the metallic whites. When mixed with 
linseed oil, they assume a dirty, dingy, measly-looking 
white. All are more or less transparent, or at best are 
semi-transparent. By themselves they may be called 
useless as oil paints, but, for all that, some are very useful 
when employed as adjuncts to the metallic whites in oil. 
Their usefulness lies chiefly in the correction of some 
defects, and that is their chief use in connection with that 

In kalsomining and distemper work they become true 
pigments in every sense of that word. They impart a 
color of their own to the other pigments with which they 
are mixed. In water, they are invaluable. 

Lime, clay, and silica, with admixtures of other sub- 
stances in small quantities, form the basis of nearly all 
the earth whites. According to which of them mainly 
enters into the respective compositions and predomi- 
nates, they are known by various names. 



Most all the earth whites are to be found in abundance 
in many parts of the world. Most of them are cheaply 
mined and prepared for use, consequently they are inex- 
pensive. This cheapness makes them very attractive 
for compounding with white lead or zinc white, openly so 
in the goods known as compound leads, etc., or secretly 
so in the preparation of the "off " brands. The greatest 
harm that any of them do in either the off brands or the 
compound leads is that they reduce the covering proper- 
ties in these in nearly the same ratio as the quantities 
into which they enter. It is said " nearly," but as some of 
these earth whites are semi-transparent and have cover- 
ing properties of their own, it is true therefore in the 
main of most of them. Their spreading possibilities are 
increased, and pound for pound they spread farther than 
lead, so that a greater number of square yards can be 
painted with a given weight. This is due to the fact 
that they absorb more linseed oil than does white lead. 
This makes them wear longer, and helps to protect the 
lead in the combination. Some of these earth whites 
have strong caustic properties; this causticity saponifies 
the linseed oil, and as the saponification formed is a 
partially soluble one, it is necessary to be careful of their 

Chemistry and Source of Supply 

Carbonate of lime, or whiting as it is popularly called, 
whose chemical formula is CaCO 3 , is plentifully supplied by 
nature in a nearly pure state in the shape of chalk. It is at 
least pure enough for use as a pigment after the removal of 
the coarser substances mixed with it, such as silica and 
other impurities, by levigation. It is sometimes made 


artificially from certain varieties of limestone, which in 
the United States is more abundant than chalk. 

The principal source of supply is chalk. That is the 
natural carbonate of lime. All it needs is crushing and 
afterward levigating. 

Levigating is the technical name used to designate the 
operation of washing out the impurities present in all 
natural earth pigments. Whenever that word is used 
in this treatise in subsequent chapters, one will under- 
stand that it is employed to designate the washing out of 
impurities consisting of heavy sand, pebbles, roots, etc. 

After the chalk has been crushed or powdered, this is 
mixed with water and thoroughly agitated, that it may 
all be dissolved and held in suspension by the water. It 
is then run off, conducted through pipes to a succession 
of vats where the liquid mass overflows from one to the 
next, and so on. The finer atoms being the lightest 
they are held in suspension the longest, and they flow 
to the farthest vats before depositing, the sand and other 
heavy impurities settling in the first ones, so that the 
quality of the settlings increases or decreases according to 
the longer or shorter distance of the settling vats from the 
first of these where the outflow starts. 

The first, second, and third vats contain nearly all the 
worthless substances, which are usually thrown away. 
The rest are graded according to fineness. The pulp 
is then dried, crushed in large lumps or powdered, packed 
in barrels, and the last is sold as " Gilder's" whiting- 
chalk which has simply been crushed and powdered 
without having been subjected to the levigating process 
is known by the name of "Commercial" whiting. 

The qualities and styles of packages which a few years 
ago were to be found upon the market under various 
fancy names have nearly all disappeared. For in- 


stance, the small cones of Spanish white, the brands 
of Paris white, London white, etc., are seldom to be found. 

Some decorators prefer what is known now as "lump" 
whiting. This is not lump chalk, as some might suppose 
it to be. That would be too hard to dissolve, in fact, it 
would not dissolve; besides, the impurities lump chalk con- 
tains would bar it from use by that class of workmen. 
Good lump whiting is the same as the best grade of 
gilder's whiting, with the only difference that after the 
levigated pulp is dry, instead of being powdered it is 
simply broken up into chunks for the handy packing 
of it in barrels. 

That it is better than the corresponding quality that 
has been powdered, is claimed by some decorators. It is 
a question requiring a Philadelphia lawyer to decide. It 
is too hard for the ordinary mortal to answer. It is a rem- 
nant of the times when the old bosses used the dabs of 
Spanish white, which were just pulp dipped out and dried 
in cone-like shapes, and were in those days known to 
every painter in the land. But to-day, with powerful 
machinery to crush the whiting, and if this has been well 
levigated, it looks as if the powdered whiting had the 
best end of the arrangement. It dissolves in water more 
readily than the lump, therefore is more desirable for 
the painter's use, because it saves his time. 

Properties and Uses 

Whiting is a very good distemper pigment, and is 
probably more extensively used than any of the white 
earth pigments. It is used chiefly by kalsominers, deco- 
rators in distemper painting, and in immense quantities 
by the wall-paper manufacturers in preparing their print- 
ing tints. 


In linseed oil it is very indifferent, to say the least. 
From its causticity, it must be very active in saponifying 
and destroying the linseed oil. It never dries very hard 
with it, and where the oil has been applied thick, it will 
skin over the soft stuff underneath and will come off with 
but little provocation. It always imparts a dull, dirty 
tone to any tints made by adding coloring matter to it, 
or to white lead compounds where it predominates. For 
employment alone, its transparency is against it. Small 
quantities of it added to the megilp used by grainers 
will make the color comb better and permit it to be put 
on heavier, and still be more transparent than would be 
possible without it. 

There are several cretaceous earths which at times have 
been used as paint or adjuncts to white lead, but none of 
them have proved very satisfactory. Their use is now 
obsolete. Far better substances can be had which are 
fully as cheap as whiting. The chief use of whiting is 
in water-color painting, and in this connection it is con- 
sumed in enormous quantities. The wall-paper printing 
industry uses it in the preparation of its tints. The 
kalsominers and fresco painters also are large consumers. 
The putty manufacturers also employ it in the prepara- 
tion of that article. 


China clay is the only white earth pigment that has 
any body in oil, but even the best samples could hardly 
be called semi-transparent. This class of white earth is 
also known under the general names of argillaceous and 
clay white. It varies greatly. 

Properties and Uses 

The kaolin, or china clay of commerce, is the best repre- 
sentative of the class. It is nearly a pure clay, and that 


is why it is better bodied than the cretaceous or silicious 
earths. It is very much better than whiting as a com- 
ponent part of off leads and lead compounds. Never- 
theless it is far from being an ideal substance; it has 
some grave defects of its own, but it has a better body, 
and is not an active destroyer of linseed oil. 

Its defects are that it dulls the tone of white lead, and 
that it muddies that of tints in about the same manner 
and for similar reasons as whiting does. 

It is also useful as a distemper color, working nicely 
under the brush; but as it does not make as smooth a 
job as whiting, it is therefore very seldom employed for 
that class of work. 

Its chief use is that of an extender, as an adulterant 
in off leads or compounds, ochers ground in oil, Venetian 
reds, etc. Its greater body, heavier weight, and being 
much less caustic than carbonate of lime, render it much 
better adapted for purposes where these qualities count. 

But in common with all earth pigments which contain 
a large proportion of clay or alumina in their composi- 
tion, the great trouble is that clay has the property of 
absorbing water and of parting with it readily. This 
hygroscopic property is lessened when mixed with oil, 
but not altogether eliminated. After the oil has 
thoroughly dried, and from exposure and decay become 
porous, clay pigments absorb water from the atmosphere, 
and when the heat of summer comes, this moisture is 
given out. This is the main reason why so much trouble 
has been reported from the use of ochers. There is no 
doubt that in the majority of cases, this was due to the 
use of an ocher which contained a very large percentage 
of alumina in its base. 

This constant absorbing or parting with moisture is 
bound to produce blistering, and later on scaling, and is 


the principal cause of mildew. It also causes the sinking 
in of colors, which means a cloudy, fady, muddy, uneven- 
looking surface. 

History and Provenance 

Gypsum is plentifully found in the natural state a 
soft rock in nearly all parts of the globe. It is known 
to every one in its calcined condition under the form 
and name of plaster of paris. In this form, however, it 
is of little use as a pigment. It is therefore chiefly in 
its uncalcined condition that it will be considered. 

It is first levigated and freed from impurities in much 
the same manner as has been related was used to clean 
chalk from its impurities. It is chiefly in this condition, 
after thorough drying, that it is useful either as an adjunct 
to other pigments, or as the principal ingredient in all the 
so-called anticalcimine, gypsine, etc., the prepared dis- 
temper paints whose manufacturing headquarters are 
located in Grand Rapids, which is situated in the heart 
of the gypsum beds of Michigan. 

Properties and Uses 

For distemper purposes and water colors, gypsum is 
well fitted, although it does not work as smoothly as 
whiting, nor does it make as solid a covering. In some 
other respects it is superior to it; it has much better 
tenacity and adhering properties. It is better to buy 
it ready prepared for application. It requires a long 
experience in its preparation. This the manufacturers 
possess; and experimenting continually, they have been 
able to correct some of its faults and to put out a line of 


goods which is much better than any thing the painter 
could possibly prepare for himself. 

In relief work gypsum is the principal substance used 
in the mixtures. 

It is also useful in oil, not so much as a pigment as an 
adjunct; as a corrector or betterer, if it maybe so called. 

It has some of the defects of other earth whites, the 
main one being its transparency. It possesses no opa- 
city in oil, or next door to none. When used excessively 
it dulls tints the same as the rest of them. Unlike many, 
it has no causticity, so that it does not injuriously affect 
linseed or any other of the fixed oils. Therefore when 
used judiciously with white lead, it will retard its chalk- 
ing, for it is a good absorbent of oil, and is inert. But 
it must be used in reason, or it will make the white lead 
look off-color and too transparent. 

It is also used by color makers as a base for certain 
colors, but of that more will be said as occasion will 
require under the proper heading. It is chiefly in that 
connection that its usefulness lies. 


Sulphate of lime when calcined at a heat of 110C. 
loses its water of hydration and forms the well-known 
article of commerce, plaster of paris. 

In that condition it absorbs water readily and recom- 
bines with it, returning to its hydrate or natural condi- 
tion. This renders it unfit for use as a pigment, as it 
would harden when mixed with the water used to thin it 
in distemper work, and would absorb enough moisture 
from linseed oil, which contains a small percentage, and 
from the atmosphere, which at times is heavily charged 
with it, to harden even when ground in oil. When it 
has become heated to 500 C. then it loses the power of 


absorbing moisture, and it is in that condition that it has 
to be for the purposes of the manufacturer of pigments. 

It is never found in that shape in a commercial way, 
and for that reason the painter cannot avail himself of 
its use in order to compound it with other pigments. 

Should the future demand for gypsum of 500 C. be 
found to grow, it is highly probable that manufacturers 
will grind it in oil. At the present it is known only to 
few aside from the color makers, so there is no market 
demand for it. Probably the reason is that it is a very 
hard substance to grind after such high calcination. 
When it enters in combination with other pigments it is 
much easier ground, and it is always in that shape that 
it is ground. 

Properties and Uses 

Silver white is known to most painters, probably not 
as a paint or pigment, but as an ingredient entering into 
the preparation of fillers. 

It is hardly worthy to be called a pigment, as, even when 
mixed with water for distemper work, it shows but little 
opacity, and is very inferior to either the cretaceous or the 
argillaceous earths for that purpose. The chief use is in 
correcting some of the evil tendencies and defects of 
white lead and zinc white. As correctives, then, the 
silicate earths are excellent, and are better adapted to 
that purpose than are the earth whites of either of the 
two classes described before. Their benefit is great, and 
the time is not far distant when a paint will hardly be 
considered perfect that contains no silicate earth in its 


The above statement may be considered by many 
as claiming too much, and it may possibly be so; for it is 
really possible to make very good paint without it, but 
such was not in mind when it was uttered. The cost of 
making a good paint without its use being greater, the 
chances are that there would be but few so made, and so 
the truth contained in the statement remains anyway. 

Composition and Chemistry 

Silicate earths, as may well be surmised and as the name 
indicates, are mainly of silica or sand; but this is so fine 
and the atoms so minute, that in the best grades of it, 
they are held in suspension in liquids a very long time before 
precipitation takes place the particles will almost float. 

The silicate earths occur in various parts of the United 
States in natural beds, and for once Dame Nature has 
endowed America with an earth useful in painting which 
is superior in fineness and quality to anything that has 
been found so far in any of the European or Asiatic 
countries. The products of American mines are exported 
extensively. That will never be the case with its other 
natural earth pigments, such as the ochers, umbers, and 

The beds containing silicate earths are mined like all 
the other earth beds, according as to whether they lie 
near the surface or are located quite a way below it. 
The raw earth is levigated to clean it from heavy sand and 
other impurities, for while it is nearly of the same chemi- 
cal composition as sand, which is another form of 
silica, that is as much of an impurity in a silicate 
earth as that same sand would be if found in an ocher. 

In some of the beds of silicate earths the product 
obtained is said to be so nearly pure and free from foreign 
matter as to hardly require levigation to fit it for use. 


It is again repeated that silicate earths are really not 
pigments in the sense that these can or do impart color, 
and their usefulness as correctives and for compounding 
with other pigments is their chief claim. 

Silicate earths have no affinity for water or moisture, 
and are absolutely inert when mixed with linseed oil, nor 
will they injure it in any way. The atoms are so very 
fine, that they mix intimately with those of either white 
lead or zinc white to the great benefit of both of those 
pigments. They will dry hard without any tendency 
toward chalking, cracking, or peeling off, and, but for its 
lack of opacity, would be as near the goal of being an 
ideal pigment as can be well conceived. Its use should 
become more popular than it is now for all kinds of out- 
side painting. 

Its value can be inferred by what can be noticed almost 
anywhere, or by making the experiment for one's self 
any day. Take some white lead, or white lead and zinc, 
either in the pure white or with color added to make any 
tint, and paint the side of a building with it afterwards, 
and while the paint is still fresh, sand half of it, then 
notice what the consequences will be say in five years. 
The unsanded lead will be in a bad state of chalking; the 
lead and zinc will be in a better condition, but still will 
begin to show signs of decay; while that part which has 
been sanded will be on as tight as the day it was put there. 
The silica did it. This is invariably the case; and as it is 
a common practice for many places exposed to being 
marred or defaced to be sanded, one will have little trouble 
to find samples of it already so painted which have been 
put on for many years. It can thus be seen and the results 
ascertained without having to wait several years for it. 

The good wearing qualities of the French and English 
ochers are due to their being silicate ochers; they contain 


a large percentage of silica in their base. (See the chapter 
on ocher.) Had the silicate earth but the opacity of 
white lead, it would be worth its weight in gold, as the 
saying is, as a pigment for general painting; but it has 
not that quality. 

Many of the most valuable colored pigments are 
natural earths containing a large percentage of silica in 
their composition, which will be properly noticed under 
the several headings to which they respectively belong. 

Composition and Provenance 

Baryta white is better and more commonly known as 
barytes in the United States. It is found commercially 
of many different grades and qualities. It is obtained in 
its natural state in many parts of the world. It is well 
known under the form of " heavy spar," which is a heavy 
crystalline rock. It is found in localities of many-vary- 
ing geological formations. Near Quincy, Illinois, it is in 
large quantities in the limestone formation of the bluffs 
along the Mississippi River, also in the Blue Ridge region 
of Virginia and elsewhere. Again, it is found in the zinc 
and lead mines of Southwestern Missouri, Northwestern 
Arkansas, Southwestern Kansas and the Indian Territory. 
It is somewhat ludicrous, this finding of it in connection 
with lead in mines as if that substance knew that later 
on it should be made to parade as and become a still 
closer neighbor of lead under its new form of "white 
lead/' and made to renew an acquaintance with its old 
neighbor where they had lain together for ages before 
being disturbed from their peaceful slumber by the 


Properties and Uses 

Barytes is very transparent. It is the ideal trans- 
parent pigment element, heavy spar being nearly as 
transparent as glass. When ground in linseed oil, ordi- 
nary barytes has no body. This can be best seen by the 
mixing of barytes with oil, and of painting a board three 
coats with it, the same mixed to the usual consistency 
of paint for a like purpose. It will be found that these 
three coatings, which had they been mixed from any of 
the usual pigments would have covered the board per- 
fectly, in this instance have not even hidden the tracery 
of the grain of the wood. It will be safe to say that one 
single coat of white lead would have covered the surface 
of the board more opaquely than five coats of the barytes 
paint would do. 

That barytes must be a very heavy substance may be 
surmised from the great weight of the heavy spar from 
which it is prepared. It is by reason of this heavy weight 
that it is the chief adulterant used to doctor up white 
lead. It being nearly of the same specific gravity, it is 
thus admirably adapted to pass inspection where the 
lighter weight of better adulterants would be a "dead 
give away" on account of the greatly increased size of 
a package of a given weight. That is why whiting, 
gypsum, etc., are so seldom used for the purpose of adul- 
terating white lead. They would make entirely too much 
bulk, and the fraud would be recognizable to a novice. 
Therefore barytes has almost a monopoly as an adulter- 
ant of white, its heavy weight entitling it to that eminent 
position. Another requisite which is of as nearly as 
much importance, is that of its great transparency. More 
barytes can be added to white lead without muddying 
its color, than of any of the earth whites of better body, 


but which change the color of the pigments they are 
added to, as has been already said of them. 

Barytes is also the adulterant chiefly used in the mak- 
ing of the cheaper colors in oil; this, however, more on 
account of its transparency than that of its weight; as for 
many of the lighter-weight colors it is greatly against it, 
it makes the package look too small. Its transparency 
usually decides the scales in its favor, as the chief make- 
weight adulterant even for the light-weight colors, some 
very light-weight adulterant being used in connection 
with it to give more bulk. Its transparency does not 
greatly affect the tone of the darker colors with which 
it is used; and while it can be detected when the adul- 
terated color is -used in making tints it renders them 
less clear in tones it will hardly show in the color itself 
in self-color painting. 

In such extra light-weight colors as Prussian blue, 
lampblack, etc., it cannot possibly be used alone, as it 
would be an easy "give away; " so, as was said, it is usual 
to marry it to a much lighter-weighted partner, but it 
goes in just the same. 

To show the capacity of barytes as an adulterant and 
its transparency, fifty pounds of it can be added to one 
pound of dry Prussian blue medium chrome yellow or 
lampblack without changing the colors greatly. Thus 
the enormous quantity of fifty to one is within the possi- 
bilities in adulterating with it. While seldom used to 
that extent, it is sometimes found in nearly that ratio in 
the "cheap John" lines of colors in oil occasionally to be 
seen frequently more in the cheap dry colors. 

While upon the subject of adulteration it might be well 
to say here that in a general way colors are not adulter- 
ated to anywhere near the limit of the possibilities as 
that of fifty to one. More frequently the adulteration 


will be found to be one to one, three to one, or four to one 
of the genuine color; the latter being the common one 
in use, and recognized as justifiable for the proprietary 
greens and many other colors which do not indicate 
purity by any such claim upon their labels. This adul- 
teration is, however, to such an extent, but will be found 
in many whose labels would, to the unsophisticated, 
create the impression that the colors were pure with- 
out saying that in so many words. 

As it is mainly as an adulterant that barytes has any 
serious claims upon the attention of the readers of this 
treatise, this is the side from which it is viewed. 

Not so, however, of the artificially prepared baryta 
white, which is better known to artists and decorators as 
"blanc fixe." The latter is an excellent pigment for 
water-color painting, and nothing of what has been said 
of the natural barytes applies to that, except its lack of 
opacity in oil; but even in that, it is head and shoulders 
above the ordinary barytes. In water-color work, it 
possesses a good body. It is a perfect white, absolutely 
unalterable under all and any circumstances or conditions. 
It is insoluble in the acids, and is not attacked by sulphu- 
reted hydrogen gas nor any other sulphurous vapors. 
It is of great value for uses wherever the painting is sub- 
ject to such influences where most of the other whites 
would be unsuited. Its absolute permanency recom- 
mends it for the highest grade of decorative work, 
and where the reputation of a man depends upon 
the intact preservation of his work. It cannot be too 
highly prized. 

It has another very important qualification aside from 
those of permanency and whiteness, in that it has a 
peculiar texture that is entirely its own, and this remains 
even in the tints made by its use. The same pleasing 


peculiar finish cannot be reproduced with anything 
else, no more than cotton can be made to have the 
feel of wool. 

The artists and decorators are the ones who are mainly 
interested in its use. It is never likely to pass into the 
hands of the general house painter. 

The reader should remember to distinguish between 
barytes and baryta white or blanc fixe. Dr. Dudley, chief 
chemist of the Pennsylvania railroad, has had a great 
deal to say of it, and is probably as good an authority 
upon barytes in all forms as can be found the world over, 
he having made that substance the subject of much 
investigation and experiment. He says that some forms 
of the atoms in certain grades of barytes are scale-like, 
and overlap each other in such a way as to intercept the 
rays of light, and that when colored up with proper pig- 
ments the barytes does not show transparent. The 
doctor must have come across a brand that is hard to 
obtain outside of Altoona. The author has never yet 
seen it, nor has he ever seen or heard of any one else who 
has seen it in such a shape. 

There is a legitimate use for barytes as an extender, 
especially in such colors as the greens or chrome yellows, 
which in their pure state are very strong. That state- 
ment should be understood in this sense only: For 
instance, one pound of pure chrome green or chrome 
yellow is worth, say, 25 cents per pound. Another one 
containing 80 per cent of barytes can probably be bought 
for 12 cents. Now for solid painting the last will go about 
as far as the pure, and cover the surface well. The latter 
will be the cheaper for this use, so the extended green or 
yellow is the most economical for solid painting. Where 
colors, however, are bought for the making of tints, and 
where the amount of coloring matter they contain is the 


one thing most needed, the pure color will always be 
found most economical. 

The above concludes the list of useful white pigments. 

Many others have come up from time to time, staid 
a little while and were found wanting, or of less value than 
these which have been noticed in the two preceding 
chapters. They have about all disappeared, and the list 
of them would read too much like an epitaph, and would 
be a needless burden. 



General Characteristics 

YELLOW ochers are natural earths found abundantly in 
all parts of the known world. It is of small wonder then 
that among the most ancient and earliest attempts at 
chromatic embellishment that have been unearthed and 
brought to light as a result of searches made in the 
entombed remains of former civilizations, many objects 
are found whereupon ocher had been used by some pre- 
historic decorator. 

This yellow was used in the making of many an ingen- 
ious design upon the covering of the Egyptian sarcopha- 
guses. In America the Aztecs especially, and the wild 
tribes of Indians roaming the plains and mountains of 
North and South America, used ocher also in such decora- 
tions as they were able to design and execute. 

The Aztecs being the better civilized of them all, one 
would naturally expect more and better decorative work 
from them than from the wild migratory tribes; and 
they have not disappointed expectation, as remains 
of their pottery and decorated household utensils will 

In Asia, ancient objects of Chinese and Tartaric origin 
have tracings of it upon them. The Greeks and Romans 
used it profusely; and so far there has not been a nation 



found, where the earliest attempts at decorations have 
been preserved, that ocher does not appear as one of the 

Of its uses to-day little need be said. It is a household 
word, and its praises are sung by everybody interested 
in using it, let him be painter, decorator, or artist. After 
white lead, it is probably the one color that any of them 
could least afford to discard. 

Chemical Properties and General Character 

All ochers are compounds or mixtures of several 
ingredients or substances. The coloring matter they con- 
tain is due to hydrate ferric oxide combined with an 
earthy base which varies with each locality, and some- 
times with every hill in the locality where they are found. 
They will vary very much in the same vein of the same 
bed. Different seams in the vein are often of diverse 
composition, and are sometimes separated in the mining 

There cannot be therefore any recognized standard 
nor chemical formula for an article varying as much as 
this does. They would have to be changed with each 
new sample that was analyzed. 

Notwithstanding so many variations, ochers may be 
grouped into two general classes: 

1. Those where the earth base holding the iron oxide 
is chiefly of silicate earth. 

2. The remaining ochers whose base consists princi- 
pally of clay earths or alumina. There is a vast difference 
between these two classes of ochers, not only in the work- 
ing qualities of each, but in their tones and permanency. 

Then there is between the two classes mentioned above 
an intermediate one comprising such as vary in the 
quantity they contain of either silica or alumina, making 


it sometimes difficult to class them properly, as they come 
to the border line of each of the main groups. 

Mining and Production 

Volumes might be written upon this one pigment 
alone without exhausting the subject matter. While 
it might be attractive to a specialist in colors, much of 
the matter would have but little interest to the general 

Ocher is mined and obtained from the bowels of the 
earth in many different ways, depending upon the depth 
required to reach it, or to the topography of the 
surface of the land. The price of labor and advancement 
in civilization, and the consequent use of labor-saving 
machinery, come in also as factors in the problem of 
mining. Sometimes shafts are sunk to it in level 
sections of country if the veins are deep. If, on the con- 
trary, they lie near the surface, an open cut is made to 
the veins, and they are simply elevated, or, better still, a 
track is made and the ocher shoveled right into the car. 

In the hill sections where it occurs as an outcrop above 
the valleys, it is tunneled out and loaded in small cars 
which are run out on a track in much the same manner 
as coal under similar conditions. In many beds, seams 
are found where for a few feet or inches a better grade 
of ocher is found than in the rest of the vein. If it be 
found to be very much better, it is shoveled out separately 
and handled by itself. 

In its natural state, ocher is usually mixed with many 
impurities, such as roots of trees or plants, sand, gravel, 
etc. For the cheaper grade, or what is known as " un- 
washed " ocher, the earth after having been brought 
from the mines is simply sifted through a screen and 
barreled. Only the very lowest or ordinary ocher is sold 


in that way, and the bulk of it is washed, and the very 
fine qualities re washed ; but with the system of continuous 
settling tanks it is seldom practiced any more, as the 
very finest can be obtained from the farthest tanks. 
This is equal practically to rewashing, and the method 
was described under the heading of "Whiting." It is 
needless to repeat it in this connection, as it is the same, 
there being no difference in the operation nor its principles. 

As already told, the finest is that which settles in the 
tanks situated the farthest from the outpour, and the 
settlings are graded accordingly as extra fine, superfine, 
double washed, single washed, etc. These washings or 
levigations are no index to the quality of an ocher, and 
only signify the greater or lesser freedom from impurities 
contained in the ocher. 

There is still another method of mining ocher, which is 
sometimes employed in hilly countries. A dam is built 
across a valley with a sluiceway at its lowest level, through 
which the water from the pound resulting from damming 
the valley can be let out or kept in by shutting the gate in 
the sluiceway. 

After the heavy spring and early summer rains are over, 
the mining commences. Hydraulic machinery is used, 
and streams play upon the ocher beds in the hills adjacent 
to the valley. This dissolves them and washes down the 
earth into the pent-up valley below; after a sufficient 
quantity has been washed out, which is gauged by the 
capacity of the pond formed by the dam, it is allowed 
to settle. When the water has cleared, it is allowed to 
escape through the sluiceway, while the ocher remains 
as a pulpy deposit. It is left in that state to dry out by 
the action of the sun's rays. This requires some little 
time, and in wet seasons there is considerable risk attached 
to this method of mining; but there is usually nice weather 


in the autumn, when it is taken advantage of to handle the 

By this system the heavier impurities are deposited 
long before reaching the pond, and little else than the 
ochered water reaches there, as the gravel and roots are 
screened out early in the runways through which the 
flow is made to reach the pond. The sand settles all 
along its course, or at its first entering into the pond; that 
which has been held in solution until it reaches the main 
part of the depositing pond being usually a fair quality of 
ocher which requires no further washing for ordinary use. 

When the pulp has dried sufficiently, teams are set to 
work with plows and scrapers, and are loaded with the 
loosened ocher earth and hauled out to the packing sheds, 
which are roughly constructed affairs, but sufficiently tight 
to keep the ocher from rain and consequent damage. 
There it is again pulverized, screened, barreled, and placed 
either in cars for shipment or in storage warehouses. 

This method is by far the cheapest way of handling 
ocher, but it is limited in that it cannot be made contin- 
uous. It is ingenious, and might have been the invention 
of a Down East Yankee, but that is not so. It is that of a 
plodding Pennsylvania Dutchman; at least, he was the first 
one to put the system into use in America, and possibly 
in the whole world. His works are situated near Allen- 
town, Pennsylvania, and are located in a small valley 
through which is a runlet which gives the water a chance 
to reach the larger streams, but which is usually dry 
except during the heavy spring rains. 

Properties and Uses 

The statement was made that ochers could be grouped 
into two general classes, and so they may for the purpose 
of examining their characteristics and properties. 


The two extremes are taken as types, but in reality 
there are some ochers that are so near the half-way mark 
between the two types, that it takes a good deal of guess- 
ing to tell where they rightly belong. Besides, there are 
any number of grades from the one type down toward the 
dividing line forming the line of demarcation of the other. 
Speaking in a general manner, the bulk of European ochers 
belongs to the class of ochers containing a silicate base, 
while those found so far in America are more argillaceous 
or alminous in character, and may be so classed. 

If the reader bears in mind what was said concerning 
the silicate white earths under that heading, he will have 
no trouble to understand why ochers with a silicate base 
are much better than those having a clay base, at least for 
the painting of surfaces exposed to the weather. He will 
also understand why the clay ochers are best adapted to 
distemper work. 

One half of the lamentations which many painters 
indulge in because of the troubles they have had, caused 
by the use of ocher, and in the airing of which they at 
times fill the columns of the trade papers, can be easily 
traced to the use of the wrong ocher. Investigations 
will always show that it was an ocher with a clay base 
that was the disturbing element. 

One never hears of troubles from those painters who 
use the silicate-based ochers under the very same condi- 
tions where the other kind is said to have gone wrong, and 
these can hardly find words good enough to utter the 
approval they have to give. 

Both are truthful in the telling of their experiences, but 
while each has to tell them from the use of a pigment 
which has the same name and possibly the same color, 
each is in reality speaking of something of an entirely 
different nature and properties. 


The troubles had by those who used the clay ochers 
are of the same nature as those to be expected from the 
use of china clay, as has been related in the former chapter. 
Clay ochers when thoroughly dry have parted with the 
moisture which they originally contained. If a building 
is primed with such an ocher, it may be called hermeti- 
cally sealed, especially if the priming was a heavy one, as is 
usually put on for cheap two-coat work. This heavy 
priming has practically sealed up the wood and prevented 
the penetrating of the second or finishing coat, the fine 
particles of the clay and oil combining to make a poreless 
glazed surface. The supervening coat put over it dries 
in much the same way as it would upon a piece of glass; 
it is not able to anchor itself into the non-porous priming. 
If the priming had been composed of white lead alone, or 
of white lead with a reasonable quantity of zinc with it, 
and put on not too heavy, the priming would have been 
porous. The finishing coat of lead, or lead and zinc, put 
over a heavy clay ocher priming, dries upon the surface 
without clinching itself to it, because it is non-porous. 
This coat naturally dries thoroughly, having contact 
with the atmosphere, and becomes porous after the linseed 
oil has lost its glyceride. The ocher underneath is reached 
through these pores by the moisture in wet weather, 
which it will absorb in sufficient quantity to make 
trouble. During dry, hot weather, this absorbed moisture 
will be drawn out of it in the form of steam or vapor. 
Much of it will escape through the same pores by which 
it entered, but some may not because of a surplus of 
moisture finding its way to some porous part of the wood, 
and when the heat is great, the steam not being able to 
escape as fast as it is formed, forms a blister under the 
coat or coats applied over the clay ocher priming, and there 
is trouble. This absorption and evaporation continually 


going on tend in time to loosen the superadded coat or 
coats and to make them part company from the priming, 
which usually remains intact. This is one of the main 
causes of complaint made against the use of ocher as a 

Silicate ochers have no such effect. Silica does not 
absorb water. It has no affinity for it, consequently 
there can never be any of it, either by absorption or other- 
wise, to escape out of it in the form of steam during 
warm weather, so that there is no danger of the super- 
added coats coming off it, as related of the clay ocher. 
Being more porous, the finishing coat becomes anchored 
to it, and if it has been properly compounded will remain 
attached as long as it would upon a lead priming. It is, 
of course, possible to mix a finishing coat of dope, but 
such would come off of anything it was applied upon, and 
this is not a matter for serious consideration. 

All kinds of ochers are great absorbents of linseed oil, 
and should be bought ground in oil rather than in the 
dry state, unless one possesses good grinding machinery, 
which is something very unusual. 

As may be readily understood, the mere percentage of 
strength of the colored matter (hydrate ferric oxide) con- 
tained in an ocher is not always a criterion whereby to 
judge of its quality or actual value. The better grades of 
French ochers seldom contain as much as 25 per cent of 
ferric oxide, and usually much less than that. 

Every painter and decorator is pretty well acquainted 
with the high character of some of the French ochers, 
also with some of the English of the Oxford class. These 
last are considered the best found in England, and justly so. 

The following analysis is taken from Church's "Chemistry 
of Paints," and was made by Professor Church himself 
from a sample of ocher which was taken from the Shotover 


Hill mines near Oxford, and which he says represents 
fairly the quality of the Oxford ochers: 

Hygroscopic moisture 7.1 

Combined water 9.0 

Ferricoxide . ..... ......;. . 13.2 

Alumina 6.3 

Silica . . . -. . . 61.5 

Calcium sulphate .' .. . . 1.4 

Undetermined 1.5 


The above analysis shows nearly two thirds of the com- 
ponent parts of that ocher to consist of silica, therefore 
one can pin his faith to it for all kinds of outdoor painting. 
But note the comparatively small percentage of ferric 
oxide, the coloring matter. 

The French ochers proper are somewhat richer in the 
proportion of oxide of iron contained in them than that 
of the sample cited above. Notwithstanding that they 
average stronger in coloring matter than the Oxford 
ochers, they are commonly of a lighter and brighter tone. 
This is remarkable, because ochers which usually contain 
large proportions of ferric oxide, are darker than those 
which contain less. It is very hard to account satis- 
factorily why it is that some samples are so much richer 
in tone than others of nearly the same chemical compo- 
sition. Some lack in brilliancy, or, if not in that, are found 
lame elsewhere. It is therefore useless to look to a 
chemical analysis for a reason to explain these things. 

Some of the better grades of French ochers make 
beautiful cream and buff tints with white lead or zinc 
white so rich in fact as to suggest to one used only to 
the American ochers that possibly they had been doc- 
tored up with chrome yellow. This richness is inherent, 


and the tints made from them will never fade, as would 
those from a chromed ocher. 

It is customary with many color grinders to tone up 
ochers with chrome yellow. When this is done, and sold 
under the proper name, and labeled as a "Chrome Ocher," 
it is all right. That is a legitimate transaction; but 
when this is done to tone up a poor ocher so that it will 
sell better, then it is all wrong, and is bound to work an 
injury upon the unwary users of it. 

If such ochers are used for solid painting, the chrome 
yellow will fade away, leaving the ocher its original ugly 
color. If such an ocher has been used in making tints, 
the rich tone will disappear even more quickly. 

The painter using these may possibly have saved a 
quarter of a dollar in the difference of cost between a 
good French ocher and what he used in the making up 
of his tint if the house was a good-sized one, but in repu- 
tation the loss cannot be computed in quarter dollars. 
Had he used the right ocher, the gain would have been 
permanent; the customer would have been better satis- 
fied, even if he knew little about color. Every neighbor 
seeing the house holding its color so well and so long 
would have become a free "ad" for the painter. The 
wishy-washy, fady, spotty-looking house is another 
kind of an "ad" loudly proclaiming that the man who 
did the job did not know his business. 

Page after page of ocher analyses might be given, but 
would only confuse the mind. All they do or would 
prove is that there is no such thing as uniformity to be 
found in them, and this has been said so often here that 
it is unnecessary to prove it again by crowding in useless 

The reader has been advised to buy his ocher ground 
in oil. There are good reasons for it. % Manufacturers 


of reputation are much more careful buyers than the 
average painter can be. They know how and where to 
buy pure French ochers. They have men in their employ 
who are experts in this line. They can buy direct from 
the importers, if it be so that they do not import it them- 
selves, and will receive it in the original packages from 
the custom house as imported. The painter who thinks 
he can tell unerringly a French ocher when he sees it, or 
who depends upon the stenciled marks on the barrels 
bought from his supply houses or the jobbers, will in nine 
cases out of ten be imposed upon. Besides, the best 
reason of all is, that allowing he can buy just the same as 
the manufacturer, he certainly cannot afford to grind it. 
The grinding of a good ocher should never be done in 
an iron mill, as, when it is so ground, it is likely to lose 
brilliancy, or at least impair some richness. Stone mills 
are the only ones fit for grinding ocher, or, for that matter, 
all other colors, including the blacks, if brightness of the 
color is of any object and it surely ought to be. The 
above is said for the benefit of the painter who is thinking 
about the buying of a paint mill so he can buy his colors 
dry and pure (?), and save his hard-earned dollars instead 
of giving them away for colors ready ground. The man 
who owns a collection of paint mills, and has them 
rusting away down in the back part of the cellar, knows 
better, and the advice given does not concern him. All 
the money that a painter has ever saved by the grinding 
of his own colors can be put inside of a very small pocket 
book, and in old-fashioned copper cent cart-wheels at 

Grinding colors so that they retain their brilliancy of 
tone, and are ground to the last degree of fineness, is a 
science and trade by itself. The painter can never learn 
it thoroughly, nor can he equip himself rightly for it except 


at too great an expense for it ever to pay him to do so. 
There is quite a capital tied up in such an equipment, 
which in an ordinary shop will be required to work for 
possibly one week out of the fifty-two in the year. This 
machinery will have to lie idle fifty-one weeks yearly. 
There will be nothing for it to do. If he intends to keep 
it going so as to sell to others, all right and good but 
then the painter will find it more profitable to give up 
the painting business, as he cannot expect to make a 
success of both at the same time. 

There are few shops, aside from those of large railway 
systems, where the grinding of colors has ever been done 
advantageously. In these there is a set of men whose 
sole business it is to attend to the grinding, and who, if 
they are not expert grinders at the beginning, soon become 
skilled by keeping constantly at it. Even in these large 
shops there is no economy claimed by the master mechan- 
ics. The cost of installing and maintaining the grind- 
ing plant, and the wages of the employees detailed to 
that work, more than eat up the difference in cost between 
the dry pigments and the ground goods prepared ready 
for thinners, bought in large quantities, as these shops do. 

The large capital invested in expensive machinery 
which is constantly needing repairs soon disgusts the 
most enthusiastic, and, like all dearly bought experience, it 
comes to stay with them. Hence the discarded machinery 
in the cellar, or that which goes to the scrap-iron heap. 

This lengthy advice and warning is given here, not so 
much because it appertains to ocher more than to any 
of the other colors, but because ochers being the first ones 
of the colored pigments under consideration, it seemed 
best to give it under that head, and it will not have to be 
repeated again. Such advice and warning is needed, 
and if followed it will save dollars to the man heeding it. 


During a lifetime, the author has visited in one capacity 
or another for nearly fifty years several thousand paint 
shops. In a very few he has seen mills set up; in many 
more he has seen the self-same mills relegated to some out- 
of-the-way place. In all instances where the owners were 
asked about the saving effected by their use, the reply has 
been nothing. 

Upon returning after a year's absence to shops where 
they had been set up, they had disappeared, and the same 
answer was received as the reason for their removal. 

As nearly all the characteristics presented so far apper- 
tain mainly to the class of ocher known as the " silicate " 
or the French and English, more will be said now of the 
special characteristics which belong to the other or 
argillaceous class those where the clay base predom- 

Reasons have been given why the silicate ochers were 
the best for outside painting, and why they should be 
used for that purpose to the exclusion of the clay ochers. 
But for distemper or water-color work the French and 
English ochers are not nearly as well adapted as the 
American clay ochers. 

Most people are better acquainted with them under the 
name of American ocher than any other. In the markets, 
the division of ochers into the silicate or clay classes is 
unknown. The French and English or the American 
in various grades is all the classification they receive. 
To all intents and purposes it really amounts to the same, 
as the imported represents the silicate class, and the 
American the clay class, because about all found so far 
in America partake more or less of this character. 

In distemper painting, clay ochers work better. They 
cover better, and, what is still more prized, they look better 
than the silicate class does; so that what they lack for oil 


painting becomes their chief redeeming quality in water- 
color work. 

This class of ocher is very common. It is found in 
nearly all if not in every state in the Union. Like the 
other ochers, it varies very much in composition. So far, 
the best that have been found are mined in Eastern Vir- 
ginia on the Appomattox River below Petersburg, and 
in the same section at Bermuda Hundreds. 

Those Eastern Virginia ochers contain a fair per- 
centage of silica in their base, but the alumina predomi- 
nates. They carry about 25 per cent of ferric oxide. 
Their tone is fair, and they may be said to be the nearest 
approach to the imported many jobbers sell them as 
" Rochelle." These represent the better grade of American 
ochers found so far. 

On the other extreme in Missouri down on the 
Iron Mountain railroad below St. Louis there are found 
numerous beds of ocher. The remarkable peculiarity of 
these ochers is the enormous quantity of ferric oxide 
they carry. Some samples analyze as much as 85 per cent 
ranging down to 20 per cent. A fair average for that 
section will be more than double that of the imported 
class. But what the oxide of iron makes up in quantity 
it seems to lose in quality, the tone being universally 

Their chief use so far has been found in the burning 
of them into a red ocher and in compounding them with 
talc in the making of a cheap Venetian red or rather 
mortar color for which they are excellent, being so strong. 
Enormous quantities are sold for that purpose alone. 

Some of these very strong American ochers are also 
compounded with ground talc, gypsum or silicate earths; 
some being sold as French and English, but the bulk 
going under the American name. 


Most of the American ochers are semi-transparent, and 
but for their tones could be classed with perfect propriety 
with the siennas. Some which do come nearest to them 
are so classed and sold as American siennas. This trans- 
parency is not apparent in distemper painting, but it 
becomes decidedly objectionable for oil painting, even 
when compounded with silicate earths, and thus rendered 
unobjectionable in all other respects. 

In addition to the natural ochers, tons upon tons of that 
pigment are made artificially. When a good quality 
of ferric oxide is used as the coloring agent, and a right 
base selected to hold it up just right, the product can 
hardly help being a good one. There surely cannot be 
any good reasons given why an excellent artificial ocher 
should not be made as well as an artificial Venetian red, 
which these all are. What is said under the heading of 
that pigment regarding preparation will give the reader 
an idea of how these artificial earths are produced and 
prepared for use. There is this difference, however, that 
in the case of ochers no calcination is necessary all that 
is needed is mixing and triturating. The base is usually 
either china, clay, talc and silicate earth in such propor- 
tions as best suit the compounders. 

The great trouble heretofore has been in the finding of 
an hydrate-ferric oxide of sufficient richness to compete 
with the French and English imported ochers. So far, 
all these artificial ochers have had a lame side in that they 
are all too transparent in oil to be palmed off as genuine 
French ocher upon the expert ones at least. 

For all that, the French and English ochers are silicious; 
they are very opaque, much more so than any sample of 
American containing twice the quantity of coloring matter. 
It looks as if the atomic formation of the hydrate-ferric 
oxide from over the water was somehow different from 


that produced on this side of the big pond or is this due 
to the forms of atoms in some of the bases? There seems 
to be an opening here for scientists to investigate. 

This kind of transparent ferric oxide appears to be 
found in Italy, as many of the Italian siennas contain 
twice as much as many of the French ochers, and yet they 
are very transparent for all that. 

As soon as the proper hydrate-ferric oxide can be 
found or artificially produced with as good tone as that 
in the imported ochers and as opaque, so that they can 
be duplicated at will here, there will be as little French 
and English ochers imported as there is now of English 
Venetian red. In all likelihood it is only a question of 
time when this will take place. All signs point that 
way now, and the painter will gladly hail the day when 
he can depend to a nicety upon the uniformity and exact 
composition of his ochers. 

Some of these artificial ochers that have been very 
carefully compounded, can be relied upon as being very 
superior for outside painting to those that are mined 
and that are of uncertain composition. Samples which 
were examined and tested show up nearly as good as 
many that are imported. 

As ocher is the most important of all the colored earth 
pigments to the painter, no apology is needed for having 
given so much space to its consideration. 




General Remarks Concerning Them. 

THE chrome yellows follow the ochers in the list of 
yellow pigments, and rank next to them in usefulness and 
importance to the painter. 

These yellows are all chemically made in color works, 
and are found of various tones covering the whole range, 
from a deep orange bordering upon a true red to the 
lightest of the canary yellows. 

Commercially they are known as "canary yellow," 
which is the palest; "lemon yellow" comes next to 
that in paleness ; " medium chrome yellow " is the neu- 
tral chromate of lead, and its shade borders neither 
towards the orange nor the lemon. It is neutral in this 
respect as well as chemically. "Orange chrome yellow" 
runs in a variety of shades from a very pale tinge of 
that color to a deep almost scarlet shade of it. 
Some manufacturers make it up in three shades, 
which they mark as "pale orange," 'orange," and 
"deep orange." 

The medium chrome yellow is the only one of the whole 
range that is the true "chromate of lead." The varia- 
tions from it are due to the addition of other substances 
added purposely to produce them. So the medium or 
neutral chromate of lead, is the base, or standard, from 



which all the others are mere variations. For this reason 
its character will be the first one considered. 

Its Characteristics, Chemistry, and Manufacture 

Chrome yellow has been known under various names 
for over a century. As its name indicates, it is derived 
from chromic acid and a lead base. 

It is easily obtained as a precipitate by simply making 
solutions of the acetate or of the nitrate of lead, which 
are soluble in water, and of bichromate of potash, and 
pouring the two solutions together in a settling tank. 
The chrome yellow will instantly precipitate. 

Color manufacturers, however, make it from white lead, 
as it is more economical to produce in that way. This 
being insoluble in water, requires more manipulations 
and boiling. The proportions used are about four pounds 
of white lead to one of the bichromate of potash. 


The lighter shades of chrome yellow are made in 
precisely the same manner as the ,neutral chromate 
of lead or medium chrome yellow, with this difference: 
lead sulphate or sulphuric acid must be added to 
the white lead and bichromate of potash. According, 
therefore, to the quantity of the sulphate of lead added, 
will be the canary, lemon, or intermediate light shades. 
The more sulphate of lead that goes in the mixing liquids, 
the lighter will be the shade; the less of it used, the nearer 
will it approach to that of the medium chrome yellow. 

Sulphate of lead is a legitimate component part of a 
pale chrome yellow, however much of an adulterant it 


may be when added to an already made and precipitated 
medium chrome yellow or an orange shade where it has 
no business to be, and where, if found, it is a sure indication 
of adulteration. 

The sulphate of lead must be added before the precipi- 
tation of the solutions so as to produce the lighter shades, 
as it combines with them then, which it will not do if 
added afterward. 

Sulphate of lead is frequently used as an adulterant 
of medium chrome yellow by simply mixing the two by 
trituration. In such a mixture the color of the medium 
yellow is not changed. 

Chemists who are not familiar with this fact, and who 
have not made the study of paint-making a specialty, 
frequently make queer mistakes in their analysis. They 
know that chrome yellow is neutral chromate of lead, so 
that when the lighter samples of chrome yellow are handed 
to them for analysis they are sure to call the sulphate of 
lead they are bound to find in it an adulterant, not know- 
ing enough about color-making to make the proper allow- 
ance for the difference in the shade between that and the 
medium. It is only when found in a medium chrome 
yellow, where it has no business to be, that it can be 
considered an adulterant. 

As these light shades of chrome yellow vary, so much, it 
is impossible to give the exact amount of sulphate of lead 
they should contain. 

Alum and barytes are. sometimes used to lighten the 
tones, but principally as adulterants. 


Orange chrome yellows are the opposite of the lemons. 
It has been shown that in the lemon and canary chrome 


yellows, the change of tone from that of the medium was 
due to the addition of an excess of acid in the form of 
sulphate of lead or sulphuric acid. 

In the orange chrome yellows, the deepening of tone 
and reddish hue is due to an excess of alkali from the use 
of some caustic substance. It may be obtained in many 
different ways, but, after all, the difference is in the caustic 
substance added to the white lead and bichromate of 
potash. As stated under the lemon yellows, they must 
be added to the chromate of lead, or rather to the 
solutions of chemicals which are equivalent thereto, 
and the whole precipitated together. The alkaline 
substances mainly employed for this purpose are 
caustic soda or caustic potash. The greater the quantity 
of these used, the redder will be the tone of the orange 
chrome yellow. 

In an analysis of orange chrome yellow there will be 
found, besides chromate of lead, either lime, soda, or 
potash, according to which of those substances was used 
before the striking of the precipitate. Therefore, accord- 
ing to the quantities of the alkali, the various hues and 
shades of orange are produced from the faintest tinge of 
orange to those of near approach to a fiery red. There 
can be no formula given of the proper amount to use for 
the producing of any given shade. The manufacturers 
hardly ever strike duplicates of any shade, but produce 
hundreds which are not alike. They do grade and mix 
many together which will give a fair average for the 
standard they have adopted for the required shades of it. 

Properties and Uses of Chrome Yellow 

Chrome yellows of all shades and hues have about the 
same general characteristics and properties, qualities and 
defects. It is proper, therefore, to bunch them together, 


and to review them under the general head which is the 
common property of all. 

From their composition, one may well surmise that 
they are hardly fit to be used in distemper or water-color 
painting owing to the liability of their chromic constituents 
of losing their oxygen and of thus becoming changed into 
the lower oxide of chromium, which is greenish. The lead 
also is subject to the attacks of sulphureted-hydrogen 
gases which turn it into a black sulphide. It must be 
easily seen by any one that great risks are run when they 
are used in water colors for interiors, about the only 
place where water colors can be used. When used in oil, 
they are protected to some extent by the linseed oil with 
which they are mixed, but in water colors there is no 
protection whatever against deleterious attacks. - 

In oil, however, there are but few colors which the 
painter or decorator could find more useful than the 
chrome yellows. While not absolutely unfading when 
mixed with oil or varnish, in those vehicles the color 
remains a reasonably long time before changing to such 
a degree as to be disagreeably noticeable. 

The range of tints obtainable from them covers the 
whole field of yellows and red yellows, which are easily 
made and at a very moderate cost. 

There is one thing that is sure : There is nothing in the 
whole field of pigment that would replace them, let them 
be good or bad. It is true that some very few tones could 
be made from combinations of other pigments, but at a 
greatly increased cost only, almost prohibitive for general 
house painting, and nearly all these substitutes would be 
much more subject to fading than the chrome yellow itself. 
With all their defects, and it is admitted that they have 
many, they stand high above every other pigment pro- 
ducing the same range of color. They will continue to be 


used until something better is discovered to replace 

There are many fancily named yellow colors upon the 
market, usually with a proprietary name. They are 
mainly prepared for the carriage trade. Most of them 
are chrome yellows of peculiar shades. 

The fancy names sometimes mislead the uninitiated into 
the belief that they are not chrome yellows. This belief 
is dangerous, as it may lead one into using those yellows 
upon work where chrome yellow should not be employed, 
the workman thinking that they are not subject to the 
same vicissitudes. With a knowledge of their real char- 
acter, such mistakes need not occur. 

Chrome yellows are extensively used for all kinds of 
painting. The carriage, car, and implement trades use 
them in enormous quantities as well as the house painter. 

Decorators and artists are the ones who are the most 
likely to have trouble with them. They are the only ones 
who need have any misgivings regarding their use. They 
know that even when mixed with oil, the chrome yellows 
are not to be depended upon for use in interior work. 
They are therefore warned to be shy of them, substituting 
other yellows as far as they can. 


Properties and Uses 

This is a distinct color from lemon chrome yellow. 
It contains no lead in its composition, baryta being the 
base of it. It is by far the most permanent form of that 

It is made by mixing solutions of neutral potassium 
chromate and of barium chlorite; both solutions having 
previously been heated to 100 C. It precipitates as all 


others made by mixing solutions having an affinity for 
each other. 

Unlike the lead chromates, it does not blacken by con- 
tact with sulphureted-hydrogen gases, that lurking 
enemy of interiors. It may also be mixed with impunity 
with any of the other permanent pigments. 

This yellow is of great use to decorators and artists, 
more so to them than to the general house or carriage 
painter, because it has not so much opacity in oil as the 
chrome yellows, on account of the transparency of its 

It possesses one of the defects which is also common 
to the chromates of lead. It loses some of its chromic 
oxide and becomes greenish in hue. 

Adulteration in Chrome Yellows 

To detect adulteration in chrome yellow is an easy 
thing. It can be done by a very simple operation, which 
while it is not a scientific one, and while it gives no indi- 
cation of the nature of the adulterant, is nevertheless 
very effective. By its use, any one can readily deter- 
mine for himself whether a given sample of chrome yellow 
is pure or not. This, after all, is all that either a painter 
or a dealer cares to know about a color anyway. The 
test gives approximately the percentage of adulterant 
contained in the color under examination. Its lameness 
is that the nature of the adulterant is not revealed. That 
requires a chemical analysis. As this test is applicable 
to many other pigments, especially to all made from chem- 
icals and which possess a recognized standard of purity 
and composition, and as it is also, in part at least, appli- 
cable to many of the earth colors in so far as it will fre- 
quently help one in determining the value of these, the 
manner of making this test is minutely described, so that 


hereafter, when there may be occasions for reference to be 
made to it, the reader can turn back to the explanation 
given here, should he require to have his memory 
freshened up as to the "modus operandi" of making the test. 

The Scale Test for Adulterants in Colors 

As a detector for adulteration in colors, the test which 
is about to be described is applicable in full only to those 
manufactured in color works from well-known formulas, 
and which, if pure, should contain a known amount of 
coloring matter. That is what gives them their com- 
mercial value. This test only becomes a side issue with 
colors whose chief value consists in their fine 
tone and their brilliancy, as with most of the earth 
colors. Even with these, the test will serve to deter- 
mine which is the more valuable between two 
samples of equal tone and brilliancy in determining 
that containing the greatest quantity of coloring 

Every one interested in colors, be he dealer or painter, 
should possess a pair of fine scales for testing. These 
should be very sensitive ones, very accurate, and able to 
weigh with precision as small a portion as a quarter of a 
grain, or at least a centigram. Such scales need not 
necessarily be expensive. The knocked-down army 
surgeon pocket scale is good enough, if one does not care 
for style. That has a little flat box with a drawer 
fitting inside. This box serves as a pedestal, and the 
drawer as a receptacle into which is packed away the 
standard that screws into the pedestal and across which 
the arm of the scale is pivoted and supports the two 
platters, pans, or balances which receive the substances 
to be weighed. They can be put up and taken apart 
in two minutes, and will answer every purpose. 


The testing in substance is done in the following man- 
ner. Two samples of a given color are procured one of 
which is of known purity, to serve as the standard in 
judging the others. A very good plan is to take tubes 
of, say, Windsor and Newton's artists' colors, or any other 
make whose purity is as well established. The above 
firm's make is named because they are universally known 
and acknowledged as standard in both quality and purity. 
A sample tube of all the principal colors should be found 
upon the shelf of every paint shop and of every paint 
dealer. The cost is very moderate. 

It stands to reason, that if a person should take, say, 
one pound of color ground in oil, and add thereto twenty- 
five or fifty pounds of white lead, and that after triturat- 
ing them properly they will make a tint that should be 
equal in strength or depth of tone and in its quality to 
any other sample or samples tested with it if those sam- 
ples have been weighed out and treated in exactly the 
same way, they will do so if they are pure and unadul- 
terated. If, on the other hand, some of the samples do 
not give as deep a tint as the standard color, it follows 
necessarily that there must be deficiency in coloring 

It is impossible to determine to a fraction the amount 
of adulteration contained in the weaker pigment, but one 
can make a very close guess of it in this way : 

Add enough white lead to the sample which is the 
strongest in coloring matter so that its tint will be 
reduced to the same shade as that of the weakest; then 
reweigh and note the variation. Thus, if one pound of 
a certain pigment tints twenty-five pounds of white lead 
to a given shade, and in the other, the one pound of the 
same color has been able to tint thirty-seven and a half 
pounds of the white lead to the same shade as the other 


has then the first must have been adulterated with 
50 per cent of something that was not coloring matter. 
If, instead of thirty-seven and a half pounds, it had 
been able to tint fifty pounds of white lead to that 
same tint, then the adulterant put into the color would 
be equal to 100 per cent. In other words, the 
sample contains one half pound of true color and one 
half pound of adulterating material, so that for tinting 
purposes it is only worth one half as much as the 
stronger one. 

Some may think that the above is an extravagant 
statement to make, even as an illustration to show how 
the test works, but it will be found very much below 
the truth. This is especially so in the higher-priced 
pigments and in those possessing great strength of 
coloring matter. 

In making tests, there is no need of using any such 
quantity of color and lead as was stated in the illustration. 
One grain in weight is as good as one pound, or even 
better. No weights need be used, as a bit of coloring 
matter the size of a pea can be put upon one of the plat- 
ters, while another bit of color can be placed upon the 
other, and added to or subtracted from until they balance 
evenly. Each of the colors to be tested should be put 
upon a little piece of paraffined paper about a square 
inch in area. That paper will not absorb any of the color 
or oil, which can be wiped clean off of it. For accurate 
testing, it is better to weigh the colors separately in cen- 
tigrams or grains. Next proceed to equal quantities of 
white lead of same consistency, placing that also upon 
squares of paraffined paper, but larger than recommended 
for colors, so as to accommodate the larger bulk of the 
lead. These are placed upon the platters and balanced 
in the same manner as for the colors by either adding 


or subtracting; or, if perfect accuracy is desired, weigh out 
twenty-five or fifty grain packages of white lead, one 
each for each color being tested. 

Have several pieces of glass ready which have been 
properly cleaned, and upon one of these place the first 
sample, which should be the standard color. Add to this 
one of the packages of white lead previously weighed out. 
Triturate the color with the lead until the tint is uni- 
form all through, using a palette knife for that purpose; 
add a given number of drops of oil if needed to help the 
mixing, then set it aside. 

Proceed to treat the next sample in precisely the same 
way, and stand that aside too. If more than two samples 
are being tested, keep on treating each in the manner 

Now compare each sample with the tint made by the 
standard color and note the differences. If each shows 
about the same strength in their tints, well and good; the 
colors are pure. If, on the other hand, one or more do not 
come up to the tint of the standard, there is something 
wrong with them. By adding enough white lead to the 
standard tint to bring it down to the tint of the next 
strongest sample being tested, and weighing each, the 
difference between them will give the quantity of adul- 
teration contained in the sample. 

If more samples than one are being tested at the same 
time, proceed to add more white lead to the standard 
color; continue adding white lead to the standard to 
bring it down to the tint of the next sample in strength, 
weighing each time and noting the difference, and continue 
doing so in like manner until the standard has been 
reduced to the tint of the last or weakest in the lot. This 
will give the relative value that each bears to that of the 
standard used. 


Thus if the standard color is capable of producing a 
tint from one grain of color added to two hundred grains 
of white lead equal to that which sample 1 does from one 
grain of color to one hundred grains of white lead, and as 
sample 2 does with fifty grains of lead, then if the stand- 
ard color can be bought for twenty cents per pound, 
sample 1 is worth, proportionately, ten cents. Sample 2 
is only worth five cents per pound, because No. 1 contains 
only fifty per cent of the coloring matter as compared to 
the standard, while No. 2 carries only twenty-five per cent 
of it. 

In the testing of chrome yellows, samples of different 
tones should never be tested together, for instance, a 
very light lemon yellow against a very dark one, or a 
lemon chrome against a medium or an orange chrome, or 
vice versa. The tints made will be so much different 
that it would be very hard if not impossible to judge the 
results correctly when placed side by side. 

This test usually brings out other valuable points, i.e., 
the quality of the tints made from two or more given 
samples. A medium chrome yellow may be nearly pure, 
but it may be very poor. Therefore, if the tint obtained 
from it is muddy, and that from the standard is bright, 
clear, and pure-toned, it follows that the muddy sample 
was a badly made chrome yellow, and that, notwithstanding 
its purity, it may possibly be of less value than one which 
has been adulterated but which is of good tone and well 
made. This is a test of quality which is brought out inci- 
dentally by the use of the scale test. 

The testing of the quality of colors does not require 
the scale test, however, as one can ascertain that by the 
eye alone. All that is required is to mix some of the 
color with white lead to' make a light tint of it. The tint 
will speak for itself. The tone of some samples of chrome 


yellow may be so poor that the quality can be determined 
without disturbing it or even taking it out of the can. As 
occasionally it may belie its looks, it is safer to add some 
white lead. Then there can be no doubts left in one's 

Color tests made in the above manner are very simple 
and convincing ; and the painters or dealers who make a 
start in testing the material they use or sell, hardly ever 
quit making a regular use of it, thereby gaining an expe- 
rience in judging of colors and their values that will be 
very profitable to them in after life. 




Properties and Uses 

GAMBOGE is seldom if ever employed by the house 
painter, but is still used by a few decorators and artists. 
Its chief value is as a glazing color; in reality it cannot be 
used for any other purpose; some few carriage painters who 
do fancy colored painting use it to obtain certain effects. 

Gamboge is of vegetable origin; being a gum-resin. It 
should never be mixed with other pigments containing 
lime or alkali in any form; they would surely darken. 

It cannot be safely used as a distemper color, as it 
fades rapidly upon exposure to the air and the sun's rays. 
Its use even in oil is questionable, but it is fairly permanent 
when well protected by varnish. 

Its chief use to artists is in the peculiar shades of green 
combined with indigo or Prussian blue. 

The paint world is likely to keep moving on a long time 
after it has been discarded, as its place can be advan- 
tageously taken by Indian yellow or aureolin. 


Properties and Uses 

This is another yellow pigment which will hardly ever 
trouble the ordinary house painter. A few decorators use 



it sparingly. It is used principally by artists in water- 
color work. It is transparent and rich-toned, and is 
superior to gamboge for glazing purposes. 

It is a non-drying color in oil. When prepared for use 
in that vehicle it will prove more or less troublesome. If 
it can ever be prepared in such a way as to make it part 
with its water of hydration, in other words, rendered 
anhydrous at a reasonable cost, it may then become a 
very popular color not only among decorators but for 
carriage and the allied trades as well as for any other 
kind of painting. As it is now in its hydrated state, it 
soon loses its rich tone and assumes a dirty appearance. 
Hydrochloric and nitric acids do not seem to affect 
it to any extent, but ammoniacum sulphide destroys 
its color at once, and sulphureted hydrogen gases soon 
darken it. 

The future may give us the anhydrous aureolin at a 
reasonable cost. When this is accomplished, it will be a 
great addition to the list of yellow pigments. In that 
form, it dries readily when mixed with a siccative oil, and 
that is the form in which artists now use it for oil paint- 
ing. As they use it in small quantities, it does not make 
such a big hole in their bank account as it would were they 
to use it in quantities as the house painter or decorator 


Properties and Uses 

This pigment is of animal derivation, but in reality it 
is of vegetable origin obtained through animal agency; 
it is found in their urine. In Bengal, cows are fed upon 
mango leaves, and the urine of cows so fed becomes im- 
pregnated with the coloring matter which forms Indian 


Church says of it: "It generally occurs in the bazars of 
the Punjaub in the form of large balls having an offensive, 
urinous odor." Indian yellow is an impure salt of 
(magnesium) euxanthic acid. The essential part of it is a 
compound containing 4.5 per cent magnesia, 18.7 per 
cent water, 78.7 per cent euxanthic anhydride; but this 
substance is always associated with various impurities 
both mineral and organic, even in the most carefully 
purified samples of prepared Indian yellow. The pure 
magnesium euxanthate is represented by the formula 
C 19 II 16 MgO n 5H 2 0. 

" For artistic purposes the crude imported Indian 
yellow is thoroughly powdered, and then washed with 
boiling water until the liquid filtered from it is no longer 
colored; a brown impurity and much of the evil smell are 
thus removed. The color of the washed product is 
enriched by leaving it in contact for a day or two with 
a saturated solution of salammoniac and then repeating 
the treatment with hot water. Thus prepared and 
purified, the pigment presents a translucent orange yellow 
of great depth and beauty. Ground in oil, some specimens 
remain practically unchanged even after long exposure 
to sunlight, any darkening which they show being due to 
either imperfect purification or to change in the associated 
oil. Such change is reduced to the minimum if poppy- 
seed oil is substituted for linseed oil, or if the latter be 
previously treated with manganese bo rate." 

As a water color, Indian yellow is also very useful. It 
is not absolutely permanent, but fairly so for a water- 
color yellow. Its fading, being very slow and gradual, is 
not noticed readily. 

It can be mixed with any of the permanent pigments, 
and sulphurous compounds do not affect it injuriously. 
It is too expensive a pigment to ever become extensively 


used by ordinary painters, but it deserves to be more 
than it is by decorators, scenic painters and artists, 
also by the carriage trade as a glazing color. It does 
all that gamboge is expected to do for that purpose, and 
much more in that it remains permanently. 


History and Chemistry 

The early history of this pigment is very obscure. It 
was first brought to notice in a commercial way by the 
Italians, and imported from the city of Naples in Italy 
into England, and it was named after the city of its 
exportation by the English importers. The Italians 
themselves know it as yellow or gialloline. It is a 
compound of oxide of lead, antimony and zinc. Twelve 
parts of the metallic antimony are calcined in a 
reverbatory furnace with eight parts of red lead and 
four parts of the zinc. These mixed oxides after being 
well rubbed together are fused, and the mass broken into 
a fine powder. 

The hue is rich, fresh, and brilliant. There is a con- 
siderable quantity of this yellow placed upon the market 
that is made simply by mixing cadmium yellow or a deep 
cadmium with the white oxide of zinc. This, while it 
makes a good imitation of Naples yellow, is not it, for 
all that it may look like it. 

While it is only of comparatively recent date that it 
has come back to us, the first notes of its appearance only 
dating back to the middle of the sixteenth century, 
it was known to the ancients for many centuries previous 
to that time. It was used in the enameling of brick in 
Babylon 700 years B.C., and the Persians used it also 
in the enameling of their pottery. 


It has been used extensively by artists, decorators, sign 
and carriage painters, and is still used to a certain extent 
by some of all these to-day, but not nearly to the same 
extent as it was fifty years ago. The chrome yellows 
have made quite an inroad upon its use, and have dis- 
placed Naples yellow in many shops. 

Properties and Uses 

Naples yellow is fairly permanent, but, like all com- 
pounds containing lead, it is blackened by sulphureted - 
hydrogen gases. It is also darkened by contact with 
iron, zinc, pewter, tin, and many more metals, to the 
extent that even an iron palette knife should never be 
used in triturating it, but a bone one should always be 
employed for this purpose. 

Naples yellow should never be used in combination 
with certain organic pigments as cochineal, the various 
yellow lakes, indigo, etc. Naples yellow is worthless as 
a water color, as it is very fugitive when left unprotected 
by the enamel formed by the drying of linseed oil or 

It is gradually becoming displaced by the chrome 
yellows and ochers, or combinations of these two, and 
with no serious loss. The Naples yellow tone can be 
readily imitated; and in this one instance at least the 
imitation is superior to the original, it is more perma- 


Character and Preparation 

Dutch pink has many synonyms, i.e., yellow lake, 
Italian lake, quercitron lake, brown lake, yellow 
madder, and a host of others under which it is known in 
various sections, especially in England, where it is 


unknown under the American cognomen of Dutch pink. 
As under this name only is this pigment listed in pigment 
catalogues in the United States, and as this is recognized 
by all color makers in their price lists, the name is used 
here in preference to any of the synonyms. Why 
it should be called a pink (?) when it is not a pink, 
but a yellow, is one of the conundrums that must 
be passed around to some one else for a satisfactory 

Dutch pink is of vegetable origin, and it can be and has 
been prepared from various sources, but it is now chiefly 
derived from quercitron, a product extracted from oak 
bark. Our black and red oaks contain the greatest per- 
centage of it, although it can be obtained from the bark 
of white oak also. 

A decoction of the bark is made by boiling, and the 
quercitron is precipitated by pouring into it while hot 
a solution of alum and dilute ammonia. 

A richer-toned pigment is produced by using dilute 
boiling sulphuric acid instead of water in extracting it 
either from the ground bark or alburnum. 

In former days much of the Dutch pink was obtained 
from various species of buckthorn and of the Rhamus 
family of shrubs. 

Properties and Uses 

It is possible that the variety of names under which 
Dutch pink is known may have been given to the various 
extracts at some time or other to note some slight varia- 
tion of tone in them. This is more than doubtful, as it 
is next to impossible to ever find any two lots of it that 
are just alike in this respect. It is useless to keep up a 
confusing nomenclature, and all lakes of the same extrac- 
tion should be classed together and known by one name 


only. When an Englishman calls for any of the above- 
named lakes, the dealer will be perfectly safe in giving 
him Dutch pink instead of them. 

Dutch pink has but little permanency when used in 
distemper for wall coloring, and yet, strange to say, that 
is the purpose for which it is mostly used. Why that is 
so is one of the unsolvable mysteries. 

Its use in the United States is confined to a few sec- 
tions where the traditions of its usage have been handed 
down and inherited without the worth of the legacy 
having been investigated. 

In oil it is a bad drier, and while it is more permanent 
in that vehicle than in distemper, because of the pre- 
serving influence exerted upon it by the linseed oil, it 
is insufficiently so, and there is no need of one taking 
unnecessary risks by using it. As a glazing color it is 
all right while it lasts, and it is used for that purpose in 
some carriage shops. 


Chemistry, Properties, and Uses 

This pigment is chiefly useful to the artist and to the 
decorator. When properly prepared it is fairly perma- 
nent, but as its cost is relatively high and must ever 
remain so, for this reason if for no other its use will never 
become popular with the house painter. As its name 
indicates, it is a product of the metal cadmium, a near 
relative of zinc. It is a sulphide of cadmium. The pro- 
cess required for its manufacture and preparation is 
too intricate and too lengthy to relate in a treatise 
of this kind, however instructive it might be. Its use 
is too limited to warrant giving it the necessary space. 
It runs from a yellow with a slight orange streak in it to 


all the intervening shades from the lightest to the 
deepest orange. 

It possesses some very good traits. One is that of 
preventing the injurious action of sulphureted-hydrogen 
gases upon white lead when it is mixed with that. 

On the contrary, again, such colors as Paris green are 
ruined by contact with it, and so are all others which are 
incompatible with a sulphide. 

The cadmium yellows work well in either oil or dis- 
temper, and make beautiful tints with white lead. Some 
of these shades resemble true Naples yellow, and as they 
are more permanent, they are often substituted for it. 
When cadmium yellow is used in oil, this should be made 
siccative by the addition of driers. 

It is, therefore, chiefly used by decorators for interior 
work. This is more liable to attacks of sulphureted- 
hydrogen gases than outside painting, and as the chrome 
yellows are badly affected by them, and therefore unsafe 
to use, cadmium yellow's chief utility is to replace them 
under these conditions. 


Chemistry and Characteristics 

This pigment is the yellow arsenic sulphide, and on 
account of its poisonous character should be discarded. 

The only excuse for listing it at all is that, under its 
heading, a note of warning might be given against its 
use. It is listed in some of the artists' goods catalogues, 
and some reference is made to it in some of the past 
paint literature. 

Under its best aspects it has little to recommend it, 
and when its poisonous character is taken into account, 
no one need have anything to do with it. At best, it is 


quickly destroyed by light, and while it possesses a beau- 
tiful hue, that fades away so quickly as to render it 

It was used rather extensively at one time, especially 
in the latter part of the eighteenth century and at the 
beginning of the nineteenth. It has all disappeared from 
the paintings of that period which have been preserved, 
and it is but seldom used to-day even by artists. 

The above ends the list of yellow pigments. It is true 
a few others are sometimes found listed in artists' cata- 
logues, such as Mars yellow, etc., but a close inquiry will 
develop that they are simply ochers or compounds of 
colors which have been described. 

The endeavor should be made to keep the list of pigments 
to the least possible number and to simplify the nomen- 
clature by eliminating from the list all pigments of the 
same nature sold under various names, thus creating a 
false impression in the minds of many that they may 
have different properties. 

Many of the yellows which have received a description 
in this treatise will be found of little benefit to the gen- 
eral painter, but most are of use in certain special kinds 
of work which are named. The very knowledge that 
they are not adapted to his work is of value, as it may 
save him money in the making of useless experiments. 
The aim has been to give warning of all the defects as 
freely as the giving of praise to the good qualities of each 
when that was really deserved. 




History and Provenance 

QUICKSILVER VERMILION is usually understood when the 
word vermilion pure and simple is used alone. All others 
have some descriptive name added to indicate their 

Quicksilver vermilion is commonly listed as English 
Vermilion, and the name has come to have that signifi- 
cation to the paint trade of the United States. 

Vermilion is found as a natural product in the shape of 
and under the name of cinnabar in various parts of the 
world. It is most abundant in China, and has been found 
and used in that country from time immemorial. In America 
it is also found plentifully in the New Almaden mines of 
California. In Spain, in the old Almaden; in short, 
wherever quicksilver is mined, there it is usually found. 

It is frequently obtained in masses which vary very 
much in color, ranging from a light crimson through the 
scarlet red range of shades to a dark slate gray. These 
masses after having been powdered become scarlets or 
reds of various hues. 

The native vermilion or cinnabar is usually singularly 
pure and free from foreign matter, and the impurities 
seldom amount to as much as one per cent of its weight. 
It is friable, readily pulverized. 



Chemistry and Manufacture 

Cinnabar is a native sulphuret of mercury, and it is 
composed of 86 parts of mercury united to 14 parts of 

It is most probable that it was used at very remote 
periods in such decorations and art as then existed. 
Theophrastus names two varieties of cinnabar as being 
known to the Greeks. Pliny and Vitruvius also mention 
it in their writings. 

Vermilion can be made artificially by following the 
formula nature has adopted to produce the native cinna- 
bar. The vermilion of commerce is nearly all made 

The process of manufacturing it, while it may be called 
a very simple one, becomes rather complex before the 
end is reached. 

The combination of quicksilver and sulphur is readily 
accomplished, it is true, but the result is a black mass 
known as Ethiops. This is the black sulphuret, and it is 
identical in chemical composition to the red, with this 
difference that the black is amorphous, while the red is 

There are two processes of manufacturing vermilion 
artificially : one is known as the dry, and the other as the 

In the dry method of manufacturing it, the mercury 
and sulphur in the proportion of 21 parts of the former to 
4 of the latter are agitated and mixed in a revolving 
cylinder. The resulting black ethiops is then submitted 
to a process of sublimation in vertical cylinders, over 
which are placed connecting receivers. Upon being 
heated sufficiently, the sulphuret of mercury sublimes 
as cinnabar near the retort's heads; the finer quality is 


found the farthest away, and the poorest the nearest, as 
that contains a quantity of free sulphur. It is afterward 
separated into various grades. 

The vermilion is mixed with water to a stiff paste, and 
thinned with a solution of caustic potash and nitric acid, 
and thoroughly washed with boiling water. There are 
other processes of manufacturing vermilion, but they 
differ but little in their essentials from the above, and 
therefore will not be discussed. All have the same object, 
the conversion of the black amorphous sulphuret into 
the red crystalline form by sublimation. Some add one 
per cent of sulphide of antimony with a view of enhanc- 
ing the beauty of the product. 

By the wet method, the processes are much simpler, 
and there are a number of different ones in use. The 
simplest is that of Bucholz: Take four parts of mercury 
and one part of sulphur, which are digested together in 
six parts of water. Potash is added as required. The 
longer the heat is continued, the stronger and more car- 
mine will be the product. When the desired color has 
been produced, the vermilion is thrown into a vessel of 
water and washed until all the sulphuret of potash has 
been removed. The color of vermilion is not changed 
when moistened with nitric acid. 

Carmine is sometimes added to the crimson varieties 
of vermilion to enhance the tone. The Chinese vermilions 
are usually of that shade. They are frequently adul- 
terated with carmine. It can easily be detected by putting 
a small pinch of it upon a piece of blotting paper and 
wetting that with a few drops of strong aqua ammonia. 
If adulterated, a crimson stain will appear upon the paper; 
otherwise it will not be affected. 

Vermilion that is prepared from the native cinnabar 
is said to be more permanent than that which is made 


artificially, but one should not adopt the statement 

Characteristics and Uses 

When vermilion is used under proper conditions it is 
fairly permanent, otherwise it is not. 

As to the darkening of vermilion, the common complaint 
made against it, one must bear in mind that the natural 
form of the sulphuret of mercury is that of the black 
ethiops or amorphous, while that of the red or crystalline 
is a forced one. There is a constant return from the 
crystalline to its natural amorphous condition, hence 
comes the gradual darkening of this beautiful color when 
left to the direct action of light and air. Even when not 
directly exposed to the action of the elements, the gradual 
change takes place, but in a much slower way. 

Vermilion prepared by the wet process is usually more 
crimson than that made by the dry, and this is more 
likely to fade than the scarlet-toned ones. Another 
peculiarity of the wet process and of all crimsoned -toned 
vermilions is that they do not have as good a body or are 
not so opaque as those of a scarlet tone. Another pecu- 
liarity of vermilion is that the finer it is ground, the paler 
it becomes and the quicker it will fade. As a water color, 
when it is left unprotected from the influences of air and 
light, vermilion is absolutely unreliable under such cir- 

In oil or varnish, it is fairly permanent ; and when the 
painting has been done on a proper ground with the right 
vehicles, and afterward well varnished over, it will not 
change readily, and may be called " unfading," com- 
paratively so at least. 

Linseed oil itself, in its ordinary condition, is not a 
good medium for it. Gold size, japan, or a good varnish 


are much better for that purpose. This is the principal 
reason why the coach and car painters have nothing but 
praise for it and are so successful in its use, while the house 
painters, who are used to mix their colors differently, and 
who also in all probability are not so familiar with the 
peculiarities of that color, usually have little good to say 
of it. The latter bring in nearly all the complaints against 

The genuine simon-pure vermilions can be safely used 
with most pigments. It is only when they contain free 
sulphur, as in the lower grades, that there is any danger 
of mixing them with other pigments. 

Vermilion, owing to its heavy weight or density, pre- 
cipitates readily when mixed in liquids, therefore it is 
best to buy it in a dry state. It is found ground in oil 
or varnish in small cans; in reality it is not ground in 
them, it is only mixed into a paste with the liquids. 
This the painter can do as well for himself at the shop 
without any waste, as he need mix only as much as he 
wants. The grinding would destroy the color, and manu- 
facturers or grinders are too smart to want to do that. 
The coarser the atoms of vermilion, the richer and 
more brilliant will be the tone. The above statement is 
not only true of vermilion, but also applies to all colors 
having a crystalline nature. 

A crimson vermilion is usually more transparent than 
the pale or finer ones, the crystals of the deep crimson 
variety being coarser. To this are partly due its greater 
transparency and brilliancy. The unbroken crystals 
give a reflection and depth to the finish which is remark- 
ably beautiful. It is not so fine nor as opaque as the 
pale vermilion, but richer toned. But it is not so deficient 
or transparent but that, over a proper ground, it will 
cover well in one coat. 


The pale varieties, being finer and more opaque, are the 
ones commonly used for lining or striping, and the only 
red that can be used to make a solid-looking stripe in one 
coat over black. 


Manufacture and Preparation 

The vermilion reds, as the imitation vermilions are 
now called, are fast encroaching upon the domain of the 
genuine or English vermilion, as quicksilver vermilion 
is usually known in the United States. It is really won- 
derful to note how much progress and how many improve- 
ments have been made in the manufacture of these reds 
within the past fifteen years. All but the opacity of the 
genuine pale vermilion has been attained in them and 
reproduced in the imitation. In some respects, as in per- 
manency, some of these are even superior to the genuine. 

This progress is mainly due to the discoveries in the 
making of alizarin and other high-grade coal-tar prod- 
ucts. Some were formerly obtained from madder root 
at great cost; and later the introduction of the para- 
diazo reds has completely changed the output in that 
class of goods. 

A short review will be made of the different grades of 
vermilion reds. 

Every color manufacturer has his own peculiar way 
of handling or preparing vermilion reds, the usefulness of 
which he claims to be "just a little bit" ahead of 
that of his competitors, and to protect which he gives 
to his products a proprietary name. 

The multitude of names for these reds has been the 
cause of no end of worry to painters and paint men who 
are not familiar with them. There can be but little doubt 


that in the recent past, when every thing in the manu- 
facture of vermilion reds was new and really in an ex- 
perimental stage, there was considerable difference in the 
output of the different manufacturers of these reds. Some 
seemed to have the coloring matter much better fixed 
than others; but the field of search has been an open one 
to all, and what with the aid of chemistry and of "catch- 
ing on" combined, the competing ones have not been 
slow to note any improvement in the other fellow's output 
nor in getting acquainted with it in some way or another. 
To-day the man who has not been able to keep up his end 
with those in front, has had to abandon the field or 
content himself with the making of inferior goods only, 
and he is known to the trade. 

The result of this competition is that now one can 
safely say that all prominent color makers make good 
goods. All make certain lines of low-grade goods, as 
some trades want them. These are usually colored with 
a cheap aniline color thrown upon a cheap base. But as 
long as there are large buyers who are not willing to pay 
more for a vermilion red than for what a good ocher sells 
at, they will be catered to. These cheap reds also serve 
as a type to compare the crude efforts of the beginning 
with what has now been achieved. They fairly represent 
the first attempts to make imitation vermilion some 
thirty years ago. 

The vermilion reds are all made upon a base which is 
dyed with a coloring agent. The coloring agent is good 
or poor, an expensive or a cheap coloring coal-tar dye 
which may be worth 25 cents or $5 per pound. In this 
as well as in every other instance, the better dye costs, 
the most money. 

White lead is the usual base taken to make the crimson 
varieties of vermilion reds, as it absorbs a much larger 


proportion of the dye stuff than does orange mineral 
the base which is mostly used for the scarlet varieties. 

The two above-named bases are used for the best 
grades of vermilion reds only, and intended for vermilions 
which are to be brushed out or painted over by hand upon 
the work. But there are many other bases used, to 
lessen the cost and for other and legitimate purposes; 
for instance, as where the reds are to be used for dipping. 

Such heavy-bodied bases as white lead or orange min- 
eral would be entirely unsuited for such a purpose. Their 
heavy weight would soon precipitate them down to the 
bottom of the dipping tanks. For this purpose the 
lightest-weight base that it is possible to find is the one 
which answers the purpose best of any, and will remain 
in suspension in the thinning liquid a much longer time 
than the heavier bases without settling down to the 

Whatever the base may be, or the character of the 
coloring agents used for their dyeing, the process of 
making the vermilion reds is a simple one. There can 
be but little difference in the manner of the handling of 
the Various manufactures. The claims of superiority, 
etc., made by some on the strength of these, must be 
looked upon with suspicion. The superiority rests alto- 
gether upon the quality of the dye, and of course proper 
regard to fixing it. 

The base and coloring dye is agitated in large vats and 
allowed to settle, and after the supernatant liquid has 
been withdrawn, the pulp color is placed upon filtering 
cloth and covered with the same. It is then put in the 
filters, where the liquid is pressed as dry as possible. The 
flat cakes are then taken to the dry-house and dried out 
bone hard, after which they are pulverized and are ready 
for market. 


Properties and Uses 

For distemper painting, the cheaper vermilion reds 
are of little value. The coloring matter fades rapidly 
away when exposed to sunlight, as it is unprotected 
by varnish. The good reds stand much better, 
but they will darken and become dingy, losing the 
charming rich tone which they possess in varnish. 
The cheap kinds usually bleach white if made on 
a white base; even those made on an orange mineral 
base will become of a light pink, eventually changing 
to white. It is therefore unadvisable to use such in 

The vermilion reds which are designated as permanent 
reds and sold by manufacturers, are usually so to a good 
degree, and are really more so than English vermilion, 
especially the crimson-toned ones if they are used under 
varnish, and the varnish coating is renewed as it decays 
away. This is especially true of the Para red. 

Coach and implement manufacturers use enormous 
quantities of those reds. Every country repair shop 
keeps some in stock. Japanning works use them and 
they may be said to have displaced the genuine vermilion 
or nearly so. 

For striping purposes they have so far been unable to 
replace the pale English, as they do not possess the same 
degree of opacity. In this one instance, the genuine is 
likely to hold its own. 

Ammoniacal vapors are injurious to these reds, and they 
should never be used where they are likely to be exposed 
to their influence. Nor should they be used for the mak- 
ing of tints. They are injuriously acted upon by most 
pigments they come in contact with. They should 
be used alone, just as they are. 


They are usually ground fine enough for use, ready 
for the thinner or vehicle that is to serve for their 

They are also found in the supply stores ground up in 
oil or in japan. Some manufacturers do not sell their 
highest grades of Para reds in any other form, claiming 
that they fear a misuse of the dry pigment which 
would hurt the reputation of the goods; there may be 
something in this claim, but it looks fishy. 


Character and Uses 

So-called " American " vermilion is not an American- 
made quicksilver vermilion, as the name would indicate. 
It is not even an imitation of it, and for that reason it is 
not classed with the vermilion reds or imitation ver- 
milions, nor described under that heading. 

It is a dark chromate of lead, of a very deep orange in 
tone. It is crystalline in the form of its atoms, and 
to this is due its brilliancy. It should not be ground, as 
grinding crushes its crystals and destroys its beauty in a 
great degree. 

Previous to the introduction of the vermilion reds, it 
was much more extensively used than it is now by the 
implement-manufacturing interests, but to-day on account 
of its duller color which may be called a brown orange 
red alongside of the vermilion reds, whose clear scarlet 
it lacks it is very seldom used by them, as these have 
entirely supplanted it. 

American vermilion is fairly permanent. Instead of 
fading, it becomes a darker brown in time. Under the 
exposure to sulphureted-hydrogen gases it turns black, 
like most all lead products. 


It is still used by a very few wagon and implement 
manufacturers in combination with red lead, either as a 
sort of a trademark to distinguish it from others, or in 
mixtures with vermilion reds, as it is thought by some 
to prevent the bleaching out of the cheap reds. 

RED PIGMENTS (Continued) 

* /ry 


History and Manufacture 

As the name of this pigment indicates, at some remote 
time the Venetians must have introduced it to the world. 
It is, or rather was, a natural earth, and red earths vary- 
ing greatly in tone are found in all parts of the world. In 
Europe, but especially in Italy and near the city of 
Venice to which it owes its name, it is plentiful. Similar 
reds have been in use from times immemorial in the 
decoration of many objects by the ancient civilizations 
whose long-hidden remains of art have been brought to 
light in the recent past. 

All these natural earths of a red tone owe their coloring 
matter to ferric oxide, and therefore vary greatly in tone, 
in the quality and in the percentage of ferric oxide con- 
tained in them. This is to be expected, and it could not 
be otherwise. The base or earth upon which the ferric 
oxide has become associated varies with each bed from 
which it is taken. Therefore there is not and cannot be 
any standard whereby to judge the value or purity of 
these reds. 

The above does not apply to what is now known as 
Venetian red, which is made artificially. These arti- 
ficial reds can be depended upon, not only as to the 
coloring and its uniformity, but also in the quantity 



contained in a given weight. The late William C. Wilson, 
whose name has been mentioned elsewhere, describes its 
manufacture minutely in an essay published in Painting 
and Decorating a few years ago. The essay is too long 
for reproduction in full for the purposes of this treatise, 
but the main features of it are contained in the following 
description: "Venetian red, like ocher, owes its coloring to 
oxide of iron-. Oxide of iron does more for color than any 
mineral. "Venetian red is made in various ways. If 
copperas be placed in retorts and subjected to a high 
temperature, fuming sulphuric acid will distill over and 
a red material will remain. This red residue when reduced 
to a fine powder by powdering and levigation, becomes 
colcothar, crocus or rouge, and is a pure oxide of iron. It 
is mixed with gypsum in varying proportions as desired, 
or up to a fixed standard established for certain brands. 
The so-called English Venetian reds are of this character. 
The standard adopted for a first-class article of Venetian 
red is about five parts of gypsum to one part of the crocus. 
Gypsum is sulphate of lime, and experience has proven 
that it is one of the best bases for colors, and that Venetian 
reds made from it and crocus are good paints. The 
Venetian reds are coarse and require considerable labor 
to bring them to perfection. On this account, it has been 
customary to consider Venetian red when ground in oil 
as a coarsely ground color. Finer grades of red are pre- 
pared that are not only finely ground, but are made with 
a smaller percentage of gypsum, and then they are known 
as super Venetian reds or Turkey reds. 

"Gypsum is not alone used as a base for the crocus; 
barytes and whiting are frequently used for the purpose. 
The great weight of barytes and its little power to absorb 
and combine with oil renders it a very undesirable base, 
the red so made having none of the durability of the 


gypsum red. To the paint grinder, it saves a large per- 
centage of linseed oil in grinding, and that is the costliest 
part of it. 

"A gypsum red requires from 25 to 30 pounds of oil to 
every hundredweight of the color to grind it a barytes 
red requires only 12 to 15 pounds for the same quantity. 

"But this is not all the saving to the grinder, for the 
mills will grind nearly twice as much of the barytes reds 
as they will of the gypsum reds in the same number of 
hours, and the former will look smoother than the last, 
and require smaller packages to hold it in. 

"Whiting makes a better base than barytes, but it is 
still inferior to gypsum, its chief attraction to the 
grinder being the smooth-looking paint it makes. 

"All reds made by copperas are deep in tone. Certain 
ocherous earths are found which on "furnacing" or cal- 
cinating will give bright reds, and some of these give very 
light shades." 

The terms American Venetian reds and English Vene- 
tian reds mean very little to-day other than as designa- 
tions for the low and high qualities of that pigment. 
The better or higher qualities are sold under the name 
of "English" Venetian red, and the poorer qualities under 
the name of "American." 

As good qualities of Venetian reds are made in America 
to-day as any that are produced in England, and impor- 
tations of this pigment from that country are very much 
reduced. The good grades of the reds made in the United 
States are branded and sold as English Venetian reds. 
The name signifies quality only, and ours of the same 
excellence are as much entitled to it as the imported. 

Large manufacturing plants exist and have been in 
operation for years in Philadelphia, Pa., Worcester, 
Mass., and on a smaller scale in other localities. 


The so-called American Venetian reds are principally 
barytes and crocus mixtures, or a calcined ocher of poor 
quality and but one degree removed from a Spanish 
brown, much of which is prepared arid marketed from 
Baltimore, St. Louis, etc. 

Many more pages could be added to the above in 
describing the processes used in the manufacture of the 
higher grades of Venetian reds, but they are too intricate 
and lengthy to be of interest to the general reader, and 
would be of value only to the color maker. 

Properties and Uses 

It is enough to say that Venetian reds made upon a 
gypsum base will prove much more satisfactory for the 
painter's purposes than the others. Gypsum seems to 
have the property of holding up the color and keeping 
it from fading, or rather of keeping it from darkening, as 
is natural for the crocus or oxide of iron. 

It has been seen that Venetian red is an artificial color, 
and that therefore it must contain, and in fact does con- 
tain, varying quantities of ferric oxide. So one must be 
prepared to allow considerable latitude for variations in 
this regard. A good sample should not contain less than 
20 per cent in its composition. Again, the mere reading 
of an analysis would throw but little light on quality, as 
some of the poorest of the natural calcined earths which 
are sold as American Venetian would show up a very 
much higher percentage of it than the best of the gypsum- 
base made ones usually do. Some of these cheap cal- 
cined earth reds show from 25 to 65 per cent of ferric 
oxide in their composition such as it is. Most of 
these are only fit for the mortar heap as colors, and the 
difference in cost is so slight that they should never be 
used as pigments for painting when the better qualities 


can be had even if it were at a much greater difference 
in cost than that which really exists. 

Venetian reds made upon a gypsum base are reliable, 
and practically unchangeable by exposure to light and 
air. They darken a trifle, but that is caused chiefly by 
the darkening of the linseed oil by age. There is a cause 
for this belonging to the pigment itself, and that is the 
absorption of a small percentage of hydrogen from the 
atmosphere, and of a partial hydration of the oxide con- 
verting it into hydrate-ferric oxide. This is very slight 
and hardly worth reckoning in the gypsum-based reds. 

Venetian red, either the natural or the artificial, may 
be mixed with other pigments with perfect safety, and 
it is invaluable for mixing with white lead for the com- 
pounding of many tints. 

It can be used for any kind of painting in oil or dis- 
temper. The better grades contain an excellent body 
or opacity, and usually will cover solidly over any other 
color on which they may be applied in one coat. 

It is used as a ground coat somewhat lightened up with 
white pigment, for the more expensive reds in coach or 
carriage work, for the reds used in painting agricultural 
implements and machinery of all kinds. It is one of the 
few colors that cannot be spared, and if lost (which it 
is not likely to be) could be replaced by no other red 


Production and Preparation for Use 

This most excellent pigment has been known from the 
earliest ages under various names, usually derived from 
the countries from which it was formerly produced, as 
Indian red from India, Persian red from Persia, and so 
on. By far the greatest quantity of it that found its 


way into England, and from thence was exported to 
America, was shipped from Bengal. Hence its name of 
Indian red, by which it is best known in both countries. 

It is a very rich hematite iron ore. Its coloring matter is 
peroxide of iron. It is an anomalous red of a -purple-russet 
hue, and highly valued when of good quality for its lakey 
tones in making tints by compounding with a white base. 

It is a coarse powder in its native state; full of hard 
and extremely brittle particles of dark appearance and 
sometimes magnetic. It is greatly improved by grinding 
and washing. Its chemical composition is such that it 
has a tendency to deepen. It is most permanent; neither 
light nor impure air, mixing it with other pigments, time 
nor fire, seem to cause it to change in any way. 

Being very opaque, it covers remarkably well. The 
tones of Indian reds vary greatly in their hues; that 
which is rosy being considered the best, as affording the 
purest-toned tints. 

As long as Indian reds were imported and consisted of 
iron ores, and until such recent times as the eighties, there 
was and could be no recognized standard of purity for it. 
Containing great strength of coloring matter, it was the 
usual thing to adulterate it with from 50 to 75 per cent of 
makeweight foreign matter, and still it remained strong 
enough to disarm the suspicions of the painters of that 
period. Now, however, it is different. No Indian red 
can be recognized as pure that does not show upon analy- 
sis at least 95 per cent of peroxide of iron, and frequently 
some are found to analyze 97 and 98 per cent pure. The 
reason for this great purity is that to-day most of it is 
made artificially, as pigments having iron as a coloring 
agent are nearly all so made. It is thus possible to main- 
tain a specific standard of purity in the processes of their 


It is made in a similar manner to that related of the 
manufacture of crocus used in the production of Venetian 
red, with this difference, that instead of sulphate of iron 
being the source of supply, iron pyrites replaces it. 
The processes vary to some extent from that also ; 
these are too complicated for description here, but may 
be inferred. The sulphuric acid is driven from the pyrites, 
and the residue forms the base of the Indian red. 

Properties and Uses 

A peculiarity belonging to all iron pigments, and also 
common to Venetian red, is that the lighter the tone, the 
stronger it will prove in coloring matter; thus the darkest 
shades of them are the weakest in this respect. Hence 
the rosiest of the Indian reds are the strongest. 

Indian reds are selected and graded according to their 
shade, and it is usual for color grinders to put them up in 
three different shades the pale, or rose toned ; the medium 
or the one between that and the dark which makes the 
violet shades. The pale produces the rosy tints, and the 
dark the lilac-toned ones. Indian reds are chiefly useful 
for the making of a wide range of beautiful tints associated 
with a white base. It is also used as a self color, but in a 
very limited way. 

It is employed by all classes of painters, decorators, 
and artists for painting in oil, in japan, or in distemper, 
and with universal satisfaction. 



Tuscan red is a compound color; properly it is an 
enriched Indian red. All that has been said of Indian red, 
applies to it in a great degree, as that pigment is the 


base. The enrichment is due to the use of a lake to dye 
the Indian-red base and give it the beautifully subdued 
crimson tones. 

As usually the Indian red is entirely too strong, its 
strength is reduced by combining it with barytes, whiting, 
or gypsum. The combining is done in a tank by the 
addition of water with trituration. While still in a 
diluted state, the lakes are added to the mixture. The 
color is allowed to deposit, when the supernatant water is 
withdrawn, the pulp color pressed out, dried and pul- 
verized, packaged, and sold as Tuscan red. 

Properties and Uses 

It stands to reason that the better the lake used in 
dyeing the Tuscan red, the better that will be in quality. 
If the red has been colored up with the cheaper and 
inferior aniline dyes, as in making the qualities of Tuscan, 
it will fade away upon little provocation, and prove as 
fleeting as rose pink and as prompt in disappearance. 

Again, in the best grades of Tuscan reds the enriching 
lake is practically permanent, or the manufacturers could 
never guarantee them to stand 350 F. of heat before 
any sign of changes taking place in any way. Tuscan reds 
made thus are therefore very permanent, and are ex- 
tensively used for the painting of passenger cars, one 
of the most rigorous tests for any color; they are also used 
with good results in the painting of steam pipes, radiators, 
etc., another very hard test of the permanency of a color; 
probably Tuscan red is more extensively used for such 
painting than any other color. The quality test is the 
all-important one for this pigment. The test for mere 
strength of the amount of coloring matter contained 
amounts to nothing, Tuscan reds being never used for 
the making of tints. In this regard they are very inferior 


to the Indian reds. They are used exclusively for solid 
self-painting, and for this purpose are very much better 
adapted than are the Indian reds, because they possess 
far richer tones. 

It is really difficult to test Tuscan reds. The staying 
quality of tone is what counts with them, and that is not 
easily determined on the spot time only can do that. 
Some of the very poorest ones will show up bright and rich 
when first taken out of a can. This is where confidence 
in the name of the manufacturers will have to decide 
which of two samples one shall buy. If they have an 
established reputation made for their Tuscan red, let that 
guide. When so found, better be slow in changing to 
another that is unknown. 

It is used by many manufacturers of machinery and 
implements, and when it is properly striped with a light 
orange it presents a fine effect. The machinery looks 
rich but not gaudy, and it is a relief from the overdone 
scarlet that it is customary to use for such painting. 


Properties and Uses 

Within the past twenty-five years, the red oxide of iron 
has been so listed by many color grinders. It is a power- 
ful red and to be had in many shades. The scarlet shade 
is the most preferred. These scarlet oxides are the 
brightest and strongest known. They should be pure, 
and this the scale test will reveal at once. When used 
in oil, it should be thinned to the last degree, as it is so 
strong that the color will not show at best advantage 
unless it is so thinned. 

It is chiefly valuable for the making of tints with white 
bases where the least quantity of color is wanted to pro- 


duce the desired effect. It is so very strong that one 
pound of it will turn a ton of white lead to a decided 
flesh tint. In other respects, it is of the same character 
of red as the Venetian red, and it is questionable if it will 
ever be able to take the place of that red even for the 
making of tints, because the base (gypsum) in a good 
Venetian red acts as a preservative to the white lead, and 
in a small measure helps to retard chalking. This is 
also partly due to the greater quantity of linseed oil which 
a tint so prepared will contain. 

Scarlet oxide of iron, notwithstanding that it is abso- 
lutely pure, has never become popular among the painters. 
It is now nearly twenty-five years since it was first offered 
for sale in a regular way, but its growth into favor is so 
slow that some grinders who listed it a few years ago 
have abandoned it. At best it is a curiosity. Should 
it ever grow into favor, it would soon be placed on sale 
again, as it is as easily procurable as the crocus of the 
Venetian red. The trouble is that it does not fill a 
" long-felt want," and that it is only a stronger edition of 
Venetian red, and that is of questionable value. 


RED PIGMENTS (Continued) 


History and Chemistry 

THIS pigment was known to the ancients, and is of great 
antiquity. It was known and used in the enameling of 
pottery, brick, and terra-cotta by the Greeks and Romans, 
and was used also by them in their decorative paintings. 
It was formerly known under the name of minium, and is 
still known under that name in many parts of the world. 
It is the product of the oxidation of massicot, but it is 
also obtained by the calcination and oxidation of white 
lead. It is a double oxide of lead, massicot or litharge 
being the monoxide of it. Its chemical formula is Pb 4 O 5 . 

Properties and Uses 

Red lead has the property of saponifying linseed oil to 
the extent of about one third of the quantity necessary to 
thin it for application with the brush. It is a very good 
and strong drier of linseed oil, and for that reason, joined 
to that of the saponification of it, it cannot be ground to a 
paste form with linseed oil as most other pigments can 
be, as it will solidify into a hard mass in a short time. 
Owing to this peculiarity, which is a common property of 
all the other oxides of lead, it is usual to buy it in a dry, 
powdered state. 

Red lead is a most excellent paint for use over iron as a 
primer next to the bare metal. It is also a most excellent 



primer for other metals, and it is becoming more important 
every year now that so much structural iron and steel are 
being used in the construction of buildings in all our 
large cities. Engineers and architects are unanimous in 
recommending it as a first or priming coat over iron, and 
many specify it to be applied at the rolling mills. It is 
the best primer that can be used for such a purpose. 

Formerly it was extensively used in wagon painting for 
the running gears, and some factories still use it in that 
way. It seems to adhere with such tenacity on the wheels 
that it is not easily scratched or marred. The felloes of 
wheels painted with other materials soon show. 

Like all lead pigments it is easily affected by sulphur- 
eted-hydrogen gases, and it will turn black when exposed 
to them. When exposed to the direct action of the sun's 
rays it has a tendency to bleach. This is no doubt due 
to the loss of some of its oxygen and to a return towards 
a monoxide state, the normal condition of the lead oxides. 

As to its wearing qualities, there is nothing in the line 
of pigments that equals it. It becomes nearly as hard as 
a coat of metallic lead itself some say harder. As has 
been said, a wagon's running gear painted with it will 
stand knocks, friction, and anything in reason without the 
paint coming off, while any other red would come off to the 
bare wood. 

At the several navy yards of the United States, but 
especially at Norfolk, Va., the authorities have come to the 
conclusion that there is nothing to equal it for the priming 
of iron, and they specify its use for that purpose in ship 
construction. Again, when at the end of a cruise ships 
come in for a general overhauling in the dry docks, and 
after the old paint has been burned off, they are invariably 
treated to a coat of red lead as a foundation for whatever 
may be wanted to go on top of that. 


On account of its heavy weight, it is never used in dis- 
temper; and from its tendency to blacken under the action 
of sulphurous fumes and to lighten under strong sunlight, 
it is never used for that kind of work. 

Its chief and best use is when associated with linseed 
oil for the purposes already indicated. 

Many of the white lead corroders also make red lead. 
This they put up in wooden kegs of same weights as those 
of white lead, viz., 12J's, 25's, 50's, 100's, 200's, and 250's 
being the usual quantities. It is usually pure when the 
label says "Strictly Pure/' and is accompanied by the 
name of the corroding firm. There is some difference in 
the qualities of it, some being more crystalline than others, 
and therefore richer in tone. It therefore requires some 
little knowledge of brands to be able to buy the best 
without seeing them first. For the priming of structural 
iron, this does not make any material difference; but if 
the lead is to be the finishing coat, as in wagon-gear paint- 
ing, then that is another story. 

The above ends the list of useful red pigments 
employed in general painting; the remainder are mainly 
compound pigments and the lakes, which are seldom 
handled in general painting excepting in tinting or color- 
ing walls and for decorative purposes. The car and 
carriage painters, however, use some of these extensively. 
The japanning works also use them, and some are used 
for enameling pottery and colored brick. 


General Remarks Concerning Them 

Under the generic name of lakes, a class of pigments 
is placed upon the market which differs in one respect 
from all the others. As a rule they are transparent, and 


are never used alone as a covering coat in oil painting. 
When used in oil or varnish, it is over some other coat 
of color which sometimes is similar in tone to that of 
their own, but which has made a solid covering, and they 
are used in that case for enriching it. Or if placed over 
a color which is dissimilar in tone to their own one 
that will show through their own coating, which permits 
certain effects to be thus produced which would not have 
been possible otherwise. This is called glazing, in the 
parlance of the craft. That is their chief use in oil or 
varnish. Some also make beautiful tints with white lead 
or zinc white bases, especially the latter, and that with 
any of the vehicles. 

Lakes are extensively used by the wall-paper manu- 
facturers, and in distemper by all classes of decorators 
and artists. The car and carriage trades also use them 
largely, and artists would hardly know how to get along 
without them. 

Lakes are invariably made by the use of a dyeing 
agent upon a base that it is calculated will best hold it. 
For this purpose, many substances and combinations of 
them are used. Alum is commonly the principal one, 
but gypsum, whiting, and barytes are also employed for 
the purpose. 


Among the reds are to be found some of the most valu- 
able and permanent of the lakes. This permanency was 
originally due to the use made of coloring matter 
extracted from the madder plant. This is now obsolete, 
as the same coloring substance which was at one 
time extracted from the madder root is now much 
more economically extracted from coal tar as alizarin 
and purpurin. 



Extraction and Preparation 

Church says: "Both of these coloring substances are 
now made from anthracene. This compound occurs in 
coal tar in a crystalline fluorescent hydrocarbon C 14 H 10 . 
By a series of processes this substance gives rise to 
alizarin and purpurin, which are in all respects identical 
with those coloring matters derived from the madder 
plant itself. The artificial alizarin of commerce contains 
several other coloring matters, two of which are better 
known than the others: these are anthrapurp^irin 
(C 14 H 5 O 8 ) and purpuroxanthin (C 14 H g O 4 ). Purpurox- 
anthin is also present in the natural pigments derived 
from madder root, but it exists in smaller proportions. 
Of all these compounds alizarin is the most important 
and best known, and yields lakes having various hues of 
crimson, rose, purple, violet, and maroon according to its 
purity, its concentration, and the nature of its base 
(alumina, iron oxide, or lime with alumina) with which 
it is associated. The purpurin and anthrapurpurin 
resemble each other closely, and give pigments 
which are generally characterized by more orange and 
red hues than are those obtained by alizarin. The 
rose and pink madders and madder carmines of com- 
merce are generally so manufactured as to include for 
their coloring constituents much alizarin and very 
little purpurin." 

The process of extracting alizarin and purpurin from 
madder root or from anthracene is far too lengthy and 
complex for this treatise. It suffices to know that it is 
now possible to obtain, at a comparatively low cost, 
excellent pigments which twenty-five years ago would 
have been very expensive. 


Manufacture of Lakes 

The preparation and manufacture of lakes from 
eosine, anilines, alizarin or purpurin, present no difficul- 
ties. Of course, one must be provided with the proper 
manipulating devices. 

Madder lakes can be readily prepared from alizarin 
and purpurin, by dissolving those substances in the 
smallest necessary quantity of alkali, such as ammonia 
or sodium carbonate, or some pure, freshly precipitated 
and thoroughly washed aluminum hydrate. While the 
above directions are simple, there is more to that simple 
process than appears upon the surface. There are many 
little tricks of the trade that are secrets, and which are 
used in the precipitation of lakes, which enable one color- 
maker to produce from the very same substances a lake 
that looks brighter or which is more permanent than 
that made by another manufacturer. 

Fixing the coloring matter is an important item in the 
manufacture of lakes. As an illustration of how trifles 
affect coloring matter and its durability, an incident, 
the truth of which can be vouched for, is given as follows : 
The world-wide known and justly celebrated govern- 
ment institution in France the "Gobelins" where 
the famous historical tapestries are manufactured, pre- 
pares all the dyes used in the coloring of the wool. In 
earlier days there were no underground sewers in that part 
of the city of Paris, and surface streams were depended 
upon for the carrying away of all sorts of liquids. It 
happened that a small brook formed the middle of the 
street in front of the factory, and that the water used for 
the preparation of the dyes was taken from it. The 
water was very impure and fetid, as it was contaminated 
with animal matter from an abattoir (slaughter house) 


above it. In the course of the city's improvement, the 
stream was diverted and made to flow into underground 
sewers, so that the Gobelin factory was forced to use city 
water in compounding its dye stuffs, but some of the most 
admired shades could not be reproduced. It puzzled the 
heads of the institution for many years, searching for the 
cause of their inability to reproduce the beautiful color- 
ings made in former years. At last they hit upon the 
cause, and, as nearly as possible, they artificially con- 
taminated the pure water furnished by the city to resemble 
that which they had once used, and thereupon they were 
able to reproduce the shades as of old. These were due 
to the impurities contained in the water. This illustrates 
why it is that some manufacturers are able to and do put 
out brighter and better goods than another can. This is 
due in many instances to the water, or rather to the 
composition of the water used. 


Properties and Uses 

Rose pink is a very cheap lake of purplish-red tone, and 
about the poorest one in the whole range of red lakes. 
Its coloring matter is evanescent. It should never be 
employed for lasting work. 

It is used for coloring fillers in furniture factories, also 
by some for staining cheap furniture and chairs. It 
looks rich, and usually remains so long enough to enable 
the furniture manufacturers to dispose of the goods before 
it disappears. 

The best of it is usually made from Brazil wood ; some 
of the cheapest of the cheap aniline dyes seem to have 
gone in the makeup of many samples of it. As there is 
danger to those who use this pigment they may be 


using some of the aniline-made ones unless one is sure 
of the brand being a good one, it will be best to let it 
alone and take no chances. Much better lakes can be 
had which produce the same effects, but they cost more. 


Properties and Uses 

This lake is just one notch better than rose pink. It 
belongs to the same order and tone of red, but, as usually 
made, is just a trifle lighter toned and more rosy. It, too, 
is made from Brazil wood when it is not made from 
something else (aniline). 

Like rose pink it fades away quickly upon exposure 
to strong light, and but for the fact that one is charged 
a little more money for it than for the other, it would be 
hard to tell which is the poorer of the two. In reality 
it is simply a lighter shade of rose pink, of a more rosy 
tone, or not quite so purplish. 

The same caution given under the heading of rose 
pink not to make an indiscriminate use of it will 
apply with full force to rose lake. This is also 
employed for the same purposes. 


Properties and Uses 

Under this name will be found all the red lakes found in 
commerce that are of any good at all. Accordingly, all will 
be listed under the same heading, all such at least that 
are made by the agency of alizarin and purpurin. These 
lakes have quite a wide range of tone, and cover the whole 
field of maroons, violets, and the pinks, including the 
carmine shades. 


It is useless to examine them separately, as all have the 
same general characteristics, the difference being simply 
one of tone. Each of them will, of course, make a line 
of tints appertaining to its coloring. 

All color manufacturers usually put out several lakes 
under fancy and proprietary or copyrighted names. 
Coach color catalogues and price lists are frequently a 
puzzle to the uninitiated because of some dozens of red 
lakes of whose existence but few may be aware. Many 
are never mentioned by the other competing firms, who 
have a puzzling list of their own. Dry color lists are also 
swelled up and loaded down with terms to the confusion 
of the average reader. Each manufacturer adopts a 
name of his own for something that is identically the 
same as that chosen by other competitors, each of whom 
calls it by a different name. This practice is highly confu- 
sing to persons who are not familiar with the trade custom 
nor with the exact character of the goods themselves. 
Therefore, if a person has been buying a red lake under the 
glowing name of "Morning Star," and he finds one that 
matches it but offered for sale under the name of " Setting 
Sun," he need not worry if he is forced to use the latter. 
In all likelihood they are identical, and he will not be 
disappointed in their use. The main point is to insist 
upon getting an alizarin or purpurin red, and the dealer's 
guarantee that such a lake is thus made is the main thing. 
Dealers who handle lakes should be able to answer such 
questions; and, if they were questioned a few -times, would 
be forced to post themselves if they do not already 
know and the y should know what sort of material 
they handle and offer for sale. 

The madder reds and madder lakes are, all of them, 
what may be called permanent under proper conditions, 
and can be called so by contrast and in comparison with 


those made from cochineal, Brazil wood, etc. They are 
very satisfactory in use. The range of color, covering 
as it does every shade of red, purple, and maroon, is 
sufficiently varied for the wants of any one. As they 
enter into the composition of the better class of vermilion 
reds, these might also be classed with them; thus the field 
of reds would include the scarlet tones. However, those 
reds are solid opaque covering goods, in nowise trans- 
parent, and they cannot be included with the lakes. 

There are a number of reds made in a manner similar 
to the lakes, but upon an opaque base. These are used 
for solid painting on that account, and for that reason 
these reds cannot be classed with lakes. 

The crimson solid-covering reds are chiefly used by 
the carriage trade, and are known under various names, 
unfortunately all proprietary, thereby causing more con- 
fusion. Of this description are the many road-cart reds, 
so called. The cheaper kinds of those reds are made 
from cheap aniline dyes, and are therefore fugitive; the 
better are from alizarin and purpurin, and they conse- 
quently are durable. 

The scarlet and the carmine-toned lakes are intended 
to imitate the true carmine obtained from cochineal. 
This they cannot do in reality, for if placed side by side, 
the cochineal carmine is the richer by far for a few days. 
Change that to a few weeks, and the alizarin carmine will 
become the brighter and richer of the two. An expos- 
ure of six weeks will do that. v 

These lakes (the whole range of them) are useful in 
either oil, japan, varnish, or distemper; in distemper, 
however, all are less permanent than they are in the other 
vehicles, as these protect them. 

Certain of the proprietary reds used in coach work are 
remarkably well-made goods, and but for the impropriety 


of giving some of these a free advertisement, and also of 
doing sundry others, probably as good, an injustice by 
not also naming them the author does not claim to 
have tested them all therefore he refrains from nam- 
ing any. The mention of their existence is sufficient, 
because the reader is made aware of their character. 


Properties and Uses 

Some few decorators and artists still cling to this lake, 
but there are no good reasons why its use should not be 
abandoned altogether. It is universally admitted to be 
very inferior to the madder lakes, but it is somewhat 
more permanent than the cochineal lakes, and that 
is probably why some continue its use. The excuse 
is a very lame one. It is far less brilliant than and 
very much inferior in durability to the madder lakes of 
corresponding tone. 

Indian lake is a lac of a resinous character produced 
by various plants in the East Indies. These are punc- 
tured by the larva of the Coccus Lacca, and the result 
of the puncture is the resinous lac, from which the 
color is derived. It varies in color according to the 
plant from whence it is derived. This resin is pounded 
in water, the water becomes red, and after having 
been boiled down, the residue made by the evaporation 
is the crude lac dye. This is dried and made into 
cakes. The above suffices to indicate its provenance 
and character. 

Its use is lessening daily, and it is only a question of 
time when it, as well as many other pigments which 
have been useful in the past, for want of better, will 
be known no more, except in history. 



History and Production 

Carmine is said to have been discovered by a Florentine 
monk, who, while he was engaged in the preparation of 
some medicine in which cochineal was introduced, 
observed a bright red precipitate. For the sale of this 
red, his monastery afterwards became famous. 

Carmine is a coloring principle found in the body of a 
small insect called cochineal. It is said that the water 
used in its manufacture has a great deal to do with the 
beauty and brilliancy of the pigment obtained from it. 
Otherwise its extraction is a simple affair. 

The following will explain in a few words how it is 
extracted. Take one pound of powdered cochineal, and 
add four or five drams of subcarbonate of soda or 
potash. When this has been boiled in soft water for a 
quarter of an hour, add eight or ten drams of alum. 
After the solution has been effected, take the receptacle 
from the fire, draw it off into clean vessels, and after it 
has stood for about a week, the carmine will be found 
deposited at the bottom. This deposit must be carefully 
dried, and then it is ready for use. 

There are many other methods of extracting carmine, 
but the above is as simple as any, and will suffice. 

Properties and Uses 

Carmine is a very brilliant color when well made. 
Alas! it cannot long resist the action of a strong light, 
and it will quickly fade away if so exposed. Its place 
is being rapidly taken by the madder lakes, and while it 
must be admitted that these are not so brilliant at the 
start, in a very few days they appear the more brilliant 
of the two. 


It is very rich as a glazing color over English vermilion, 
and is still used for that purpose by the carriage painters, 
although even for that purpose many of them have sub- 
stituted a madder lake of similar tone, as most individuals 
prefer a mediocre stability to a short-lived brilliancy. 

It is a pity that such a fine red should be so fugitive, 
and for that reason painters who value their reputations 
must go slow about its use, and had better let it alone. 

There are many other reds that can be found listed in 
artists' supply store catalogues, but many of these can be 
placed and belong to the reds described, and the rest are 
for use in padding the lists; most of them are absolutely 
useless even to decorators and artists. Red ochers are 
sold under that name and a dozen others. They are 
natural reds, the same as the yellow ochers. All such 
should be, and in fact are, most advantageously displaced 
by the artificially made Venetian reds, as these are uni- 
form, and have the color better fixed than the natural 
ocher reds, and possess the same range of color tones. 
There is no object in retaining the former; they cumber 
the red list uselessly. Many are little better than mortar 
colors, and are decidedly poor in working qualities. 




CHROME GREEN is the one green which is most used by 
house painters and decorators, and for this reason it is 
given first place here. It has been the aim to notice the 
various pigments in a group according to prominence. 
It is not possible to do this in every instance. Frequently 
it is hard to choose between two which seem to have 
equal claims for prominence. In this instance, it is 
regrettable that there is no better one to head the list. 

Chemistry and Preparation 

Chrome green is a compound pigment, not only in the 
sense of many other pigments of various substances com- 
bined together, but also, in that it is a secondary color; 
in other words, that it is of two other distinct colors which 
when combined form greens, viz., Prussian blue and 
chrome yellow. It can 'be made by a simple mixture 
and triturating the pair. 

In color works it is never so made. In these estab- 
lishments they take the equivalents in chemicals of both 
these colors and dissolve into solutions. Then they mix 
these together in large vats, and the green is precipitated. 
This green is what is known as chrome green in the United 
States. By this process, it is claimed that the color thus 
produced is more intimately mixed and incorporated. 
Besides, it gives every manufacturer room to make the 



claim that by his particular method of handling and pre- 
cipitating, he is able to fix the coloring matter much 
better than any other maker has ever been able to do, 
and also claim superior permanency for the same reason. 

Be that as it may, there is one sure thing, and that is, 
that certain chrome greens are certainly much more 
permanent than others. Some retain their tone much 
longer than others, remaining of a decided green after 
others of equal strength of coloring matter have badly 
faded. A number seem to fade very soon after applica- 
tion; others again, like some widows, wait a reasonable 
time before changing their dresses. 

After the chrome has been precipitated, the supernatant 
water is drawn off; the pulp green is put into filtering 
cloths and in presses to free it of water. The pressed 
cakes are taken to the drying room and left there until 
bone dry, after which they are taken out, broken up and 
pulverized in the mills, and are then ready for sale as dry 
chrome green; or for grinding, in oil, japan, varnish, or 
water, for the various purposes for which it is adapted 
and wanted. 

What has been written above, applies to the manu- 
facture of pure chrome greens; but pure chrome greens 
are seldom found in the market. 

Owing to their great covering properties, and amount 
as well as strength of coloring matter, and their great 
opacity, there is really no absolute necessity for their 
absolute purity. The reason for this is that green is 
seldom employed for the making of tints, as are most other 
colored pigments. Green is used mostly as color by itself 
for the solid painting of blinds for windows, wagon beds, 
implements, iron fences, etc. A chrome green contain- 
ing only 20 to 25 per cent of actual chrome green, when 
it has been properly prepared upon a good base, will 


cover solidly in one coat any other color over which it is 
painted, be it black or white. It would be a waste, there- 
fore, to use 100 per cent of color chrome green to do what 
20 per cent of it will do as well. The 100 per cent green 
might possibly cover a trifle more, as it could be thinned 
more; but as no one cares to apply too thin a color, even 
that would not amount to anything, and the assertion 
can safely be made that one pound of 20 per cent green 
will cover as much as one pound of 100 per cent. 

Therefore by common consent all color manufacturers 
put out a chrome green containing three parts of base to 
one part of chrome green. This mixture then contains 
25 per cent of absolutely pure chrome green. 

The base, of whatever nature it may be or in whatever 
proportion it is used, is always added to the chemical 
solutions just at the moment of their being thrown into 
the vats and before the color is precipitated. The base 
and the color are precipitated together. This insures 

Nearly all the chrome greens are sold under some pro- 
prietary name, such as Crylight, Marseilles, Sylvan, 
Emerald, French Imperial, and a host of others entirely 
too numerous to mention; but whatever their name may 
be, they are all reduced chrome greens and belong to the 
class just described. None contain over 25 per cent of 
actual color in their composition. 

When chrome green is used for the purpose of making 
tints with other pigments, either white or colored, the 
strictly pure greens should be used, because there they are 
the more economical. Such greens can be bought, but 
they are in little demand aside from printing-ink manu- 
facturers, etc. Many painters make pea greens, olives, 
and the various light-toned tints of those and other greens 
from ocher chrome yellows, Prussian blues, etc., which 


they compound without the use of any chrome green. 
Hence the pure greens are not always to be found at 
paint supply stores, because the demand for them is very 

All manufacturers do not use the same base for the 
purpose of reducing the pure chrome green to the com- 
mercial basis of 25 per cent, and this of itself accounts for 
the difference found in their working qualities. Barytes 
is that which is most commonly used for the purpose, 
either alone or in conjunction with others. Gypsum 
makes the best base for that purpose, as it seems to hold 
up the color better, and it also works better under the 
brush. Whiting is used extensively also; and added to 
either barytes or gypsum to make the paste smoother 
in texture, it also helps out in the better brushing out of 
the paint. 

Properties and Uses 

Chrome greens come in two tones; and accordingly as 
it approaches to one or the other of these two, the green 
is so classed. The two tones are known as the blue greens 
and its opposite the yellow greens. In some of its blue 
shades, chrome green approaches somewhat to the tone 
of the Paris or emerald green. There is a wide range 
to be found in the tones between a very pale yellow green 
and a very deep blue green which covers the whole 
gamut and chromatic scale of the green tones. Each of 
these two groups of green has some uses to which it is 
better adapted than the other. As a rule, the yellow- 
toned greens are stronger in coloring matter than those 
of a corresponding depth in the bluish ones. 

One peculiarity that belongs to all chrome greens, but 
in a much stronger degree in the blue than in the yellow 
ones, is that no matter how carefully they may have 


been made, if there is any supernatant linseed oil when 
a can of chrome yellow is cut open the oil shows up 
tinted with blue as if the blue had separated from the 
yellow. This property is inherent and does not hurt it. 
The necessary trituration of the color before using it will 
remedy this condition and reincorporate the trifling 
amount of dissolved Prussian blue. 

Some of the well-made chrome greens are fairly per- 
manent ; but ; as any one may well surmise, anything that 
would destroy the color of Prussian blue such as lime 
or other caustic substances will also destroy that color 
in the chrome green combination. Sulphureted-hydro- 
gen gases which affect chrome yellow, will in the same 
manner destroy the color of chrome yellow in the com- 
position of the green. So these greens have to carry a 
double load of liability to being injuriously acted upon. 

Notwithstanding that chrome green is anything but 
absolutely permanent, to all intents and purposes it is 
sufficiently so, that, for want of a better, it may be fairly 
depended upon for many situations and certain condi- 

It is used by all classes of painters, in oil, in japan or 
varnish, and in enameling or japanning works. It is 
also very useful in distemper work if care is taken in 
mixing it that none of its incompatibles be compounded, 
or it would then surely fail. 

In whatever vehicle it is used, it is contra-indicated 
if it is subject to any of the influences which would act 
injuriously upon either chrome yellow or Prussian blue 
as under the heading of either of those colors, this is 
fully given, and it is unnecessary to repeat it here. 

Chrome green and all the proprietary greens which, 
as we have seen, are all chrome greens come in several 
shades. Manufacturers pack it up in cans as: Extra 


Light, Light, Medium, Dark, or Extra Dark, each of which 
makes an entirely distinct set of tints with a white base. 

To ascertain the value of a chrome green, it is proper 
to make a scale test of it alongside one of the same grade 
that is of known standard. With that test one can 
readily determine the amount of coloring matter it 

One should never take a strictly pure green to judge 
values, and expect one of only 25 per cent of claimed and 
acknowledged purity to come up to it. If, however, four 
times as much of the commercial grade is taken as is of 
the strictly pure, the tints made should be equal. 

The reader will find full directions of how to make these 
tests at the end of Chapter VI under the heading Chrome 


Properties and Uses 

The green oxide of chromium is known to the artists 
and decorators of the world under many names, and in 
reality is the only green entitled to the name of chrome 
green, for it is that. But what we know under that name 
in the United States is a different pigment, which, while it 
is not entitled to it, is the only one here known by that 

Life is too short to start a crusade and to make a 
quixotic fight against windmills which it would be if 
the effort were made to change the name and it is simply 
accepted through sheer compulsion; it cannot be helped. 

Green oxide of chromium is a good enough name if it is 
a bit long in the saying; as it is, it is so seldom used that 
it matters but little anyway. Many of the proprietors 
of paint supply stores would be puzzled if one was to 
call for it, and would not know what was meant. 


Owing to its limited use, but little need be said of its 
manufacture. The intricate processes of manufacture 
make it an expensive pigment, and that alone will always 
prevent its use, even if it possessed much better qualities 
than those which are inherent in it. So that with the 
cheap imitation chrome greens, which cover better and 
cost ever so much less, there is little danger of it ever 
coming into popular use. 

Two distinct processes are used in its manufacture, 
and these are known as the dry and the wet. Accordingly 
as it is made by the wet or the dry process, this pigment 
is either transparent or opaque. The latter is the usual 
condition under which it is to be found in artists' tube 
colors. When made by the wet process the sesquioxide 
is thrown down, and that makes it transparent. It is 
therefore useful both as a solid color for opaque paint- 
ing, or the transparent for glazing purposes. This pig- 
ment is somewhat more permanent than the so-called 
American chrome green goods which are known and sold 
here as chrome green, and it can be mixed with most of 
the permanent pigments. 


Properties and Uses 

This valuable pigment deserves a more extensive 
use than that which it has so far received in the United 
States. In Europe, especially in England, France, and 
Germany, it is much more popular than it is here. In 
America, it is mainly found in tubes for artists' use, and 
is seldom ever offered in any other shape. It is imported, 
and if manufactured in the United States the author has 
never heard of it. There is no reason why it should not 
be made here. As I am not familiar with its preparation, 


I give the following extract from Church's "Chemistry of 

"It has long been known that the oxide or a salt of 
zinc moistened with a solution of cobalt nitrate and then 
strongly heated before the blowpipe gives a porous mass of 
a beautiful green hue. This compound or mixture of the 
oxides of zinc and cobalt may be prepared by: 1st. 
Precipitating with an alkaline carbonate a mixture of the 
nitrates of cobalt and zinc, and then strongly heating 
(after washing) the precipitate formed thereby; 2d, 
Making a paste of zinc oxide and water, and adding a 
solution of nitrate or sulphate of cobalt or roseo-cobaltic 
chloride; the mass is then dried, calcined at a dull red heat, 
thrown into water, ground, washed and dried. Method 
No. 2 gives a finely colored product, the depth of hue 
being proportional to the percentage of cobalt ic oxide. 
If the latter oxide amounts to one third that of zinc, the 
color is a very deep bluish green; with no more than one 
sixth, the color is still rich. Some specimens do not con- 
tain more than one twentieth, occasionally even less 
of cobalt oxide, and yet they are far from pale. An 
excellent deep sample contained 12 per cent of cobalt 

"When properly made, cobalt green is a pigment of 
great beauty and power. The deeper tones of cobalt green 
are almost transparent in oil. The pigment works well, 
is quite permanent, and has no action upon other pig- 
ments. Cobalt green is, in fact, one of the two rare pig- 
ments which are at once, chemically and artistically 
perfect. It must be admitted that it is almost exactly 
imitated by a mixture of viridian and artificial ultramarine 
with a little zinc white. 

"Cobalt green is again coming into artistic use, as it is 
equally well adapted for all methods of painting. It 


was discredited awhile by the inferiority of the product 
obtained by Rinmann's original process (No. 1 above)." 

It ought not to be an expensive pigment, and if manu- 
factured here upon a large scale its cost would be low 
enough for use in general painting. 

Sometimes the green is prepared by precipitating a 
cobalt salt with an alkaline arseniate or phosphate, and 
then heating the precipitate with zinc white. 

Cobalt green, as was seen above, is more or less trans- 
parent according to its depth of tone. The lighter tones 
are much more opaque, and these would be the best for 
solid painting, but the deep ones used as a glazing coat 
over other greens give rich effects. This pigment is good 
in any of the usual vehicles, and it is hoped it will become 
better known to the general trade. It would be invaluable 
to the carriage and car trade; and decorators should use 
it more in interiors, where it is free from attacks of the 
deadly enemies of most other greens, 


Properties and Uses 

Again recourse is had to the same source for informa- 
tion concerning viridian. Church says of it: 

"About eight parts of crystallized boracic acid and 
three parts of potassium bichromate are thoroughly 
mixed and calcined. The mass so obtained is treated with 
cold water and washed by decantation, ground wet, 
washed with hot water and carefully dried. The 
product is an hydrated chromium sesquioxide in 
which a variable amount of the boracic constituent 
frequently remains. Viridian, however, is essentially 
an hydrated sesquioxide of chromium, having the 
formula of Cr 2 3 2H 2 O. 


"The color of viridian is a very deep bluish green of 
great purity and transparency. It furnishes with aureo- 
lin on the one hand and with ultramarine upon the other 
an immense number of beautiful hues adapted to repre- 
sent the colors of vegetation and water. 

"It is quite unaffected by sunlight or sulphureted 
hydrogen, and it has no eyil action of its own upon other 
pigments. Moreover, it can be safely used with all the 
painting media and upon all kinds of painting grounds." 

It should be more extensively used by the carriage 
trade, as it is just the sort of pigment that is needed for 
a permanent glaze. 

It is chiefly imitated by compounds of chrome yellows 
and blues, but such are worthless; they possess neither 
the brilliancy nor the permanency of viridian. 

Its use is confined to the artist's palette and to the 




History and Production 

THERE are to be found in various parts of the world, in 
the New as well as in the Old, certain earths having a 
variety of greenish tones. These earths vary greatly in 
their composition, as one might well suppose, and in 
consequence of this are diversified in their respective 

Terre verte was made use of in the earliest attempts 
at decoration, and is found upon ancient Roman 
wall paintings. The prepared pigment itself has 
been discovered in pots in the ruins of the city of 

None of the various shades of this pigment are at all 
vivid, and all partake of the tertiary order. 

It is prepared for use in much the same manner as was 
indicated for ocher and the other earth pigments which 
already have been under notice by washing or levi- 
gating to free it from its heavier impurities, and, after- 
wards, separating into various grades, then drying, 
pulverizing, etc. 

The following analysis, made by A. H. Church, is that 
of a sample from Monte Baldo in Italy. It shows that 
terre verte is allied to the hornblendes, and that it is a 
silicious-ferric product : 



Analysis of Terre Verte 

Water given off at 100 C. ...... 4.1 

Water given off at red heat 4.2 

Ferric oxide (Fe 2 O 3 ) 20.3 

Ferrous oxide (Fe 2 0) 2.6 

Alumina 1.7 

Lime 1.1 

Magnesia 5.6 

Potash . . . ; 6.4 

Soda 2.3 

Silica 52.0 

From the composition shown by the analysis, a person 
can at once infer that terre verte is little subject to change, 
as all its constituents are themselves the product of any 
and all possible change, and incapable of any further 

Terre verte is only semi-opaque in character, and there- 
fore covers indifferently well when mixed with linseed 
oil or varnish. Its use in oil is limited to the producing 
of certain neutral-toned greenish hues with a white base. 
It possesses the quality of absolute permanency, and pro- 
longs the life of white lead associated with it in the making 
of tints. It does this because of its power of absorbing 
large quantities of linseed oil, and acts in many respects 
as do all the silicate earths. 

It is chiefly used in water or distemper. In distemper 
it covers well, and its neutral tones and that of its tints 
are much better fitted for mural painting than it is in oil. 

Some fine samples of it have been found in various 
parts of New England, and many manufacturers grind it 
under their proprietary names. Manufacturers of mixed 
paints can also use it to good advantage for certain tints 
on acbount of its imparting good wearing qualities and 
because of its relative cheapness. 



Chemistry and Preparation 

Verdigris is the basic preparation of copper. It is a 
permanent bluish green, and is made in large quantities 
in Southern France, where the city of Grenoble is head- 
quarters for its distribution. 

It is produced from copper sheets or plates upon which 
the grape pomace, obtained from the wine-presses so 
abundant in that section, has been spread. By fermen- 
tation, the acetic acid is combined with the copper, and 
forms upon the surface a green rust which is verdigris 
or the subacetate of copper. It can be manufactured 
in various ways, but as the use of that pigment is becom- 
ing more restricted every year, and as the description of 
the processes would require more space than the little 
usage that is made of it warrants, the above, which is the 
principal method of obtaining it, will suffice, with this 
additional note, that the raw product thus obtained is 
afterwards manipulated to free it from impurities. It is 
then crystalline, and in that shape it appears upon the 
markets of the world. 

Verdigris is a perfectly transparent pigment, and its 
chief use in decorative work is where that effect counts 

Its main use to-day is as an ingredient in many anti- 
fouling preparations for the painting of ships' hulls 
below the water line, especially for the copper sheathing 
placed upon the bottoms of wooden vessels. It is claimed 
that barnacles and other sea pests which love to attach 
themselves to ship-bottoms thereby causing in the 
roughness of their uneven accumulations an impediment 
that results in more friction and lessened speed when plow- 
ing through the water that said pests will not attach 


to vessels whose bottoms have been painted with it. 
The poisonous character of that pigment may have some- 
thing to do with that; possibly it kills them. At any 
rate, their number is greatly lessened when such bottoms 
have been painted with verdigris. Sulphureted- 
hydrogen gases darken verdigris. It is not safe nor 
suitable in any way to use it in water colors, nor is 
its use in oil desirable, although when mixed in that 
vehicle it is at its best. 

It is poisonous, and while not of as violent a character 
in that regard as that other copper-base pigment, Paris 
green, hereafter described, it is bad enough in that respect 
even for use in making a successful suicide. One must 
exercise some caution with it. 

The use of this pigment has been replaced by that of 
other greens, and it is almost exclusively confined to anti- 
fouling paint for ship-bottoms. 

It is still used as a glazing color by a few old-fashioned 
carriage painters. 


Properties and Uses 

Under the name of malachite, a natural green 
carbonate of copper has been a long time in use as a 
pigment. It is mined in various parts of the world, 
freed from its impurities, and treated in sundry ways. 
Its formula is CuCo 3 CuH 2 O 2 . It resembles in composition 
the azurite or blue verditer, but contains less of the 
copper carbonate. 

It is fairly permanent; but acquires a dull brownish 
hue, due to the darkening of the linseed oil; is not 
safe as a water color, therefore inadmissible for dis- 
temper work. 


It is so seldom used now, even by artists, that it will 
be cut off with the above mention and with a parting 
warning for paint students to leave it alone. It possesses 
no peculiarity of tone but such as can be obtained by the 
use of less dangerous pigments which can be depended 
on as having greater permanency. 


Chemistry, Preparation, and Uses 

Paris green is the name under which this pigment is 
best known in the United States. It is a beautiful, most 
rich and brilliant, transparent green, but for all its beauty, 
its violent poisonous properties unfit it for the use of the 
house painter, and it is only with the utmost care that it 
should be employed by the coach painter as a finishing 
glaze. There is, of course, nothing like it for this purpose, 
and hence it is that one may be excused in taking some 
risk in its application. With a great deal of care and by 
the wearing of a sponge at the nostrils during its mixing 
and manipulation, the danger is reduced to a minimum. 
It affects some painters more injuriously than others. 
Some men can never work with it without it making them 
sick; such should never use it. 

Its use as a glazing color in vehicles is questionable, to 
say the least. For a time, while it is protected by good 
coats of varnish, it may be safe enough. But when the 
varnish decays, and is not promptly replaced, there is al- 
ways some danger of particles of it becoming absorbed 
into the human system, especially that of children. 
They know nothing about the dangerous qualities of the 
paint, but, attracted by its beauty, are tempted to rub 
their hands over it, and become poisoned. When a 
death occurs (and many have happened) from such a 


cause, what useless regrets it must cause. Therefore the 
reluctant advice is given let it alone. 

This pigment is cupric aceto-arsenite, and is permanent 
in oil. In water colors it is not, and will not long remain 
untarnished in impure air. 



Scheele's green, or cupric arsenite, is another copper pig- 
ment. It is an arsenite of copper, and its process of manu- 
facture need not be given, as it has become obsolete. In 
every respect but one, it is the inferior of Paris green, 
and that one is, that, if possible, it is even a stronger 
poison. As is the case of many another pigment for which 
generations of painters once found some uses, its use to- 
day is about nil, and it has been replaced by others bet- 
ter adapted to any of the purposes to which it was put 
by old-time decorators. Its place at the tail end of green 
pigments is well deserved. 

Owing to its frequent mention in the antiquated litera- 
ture of painters of the eighteenth century, it was thought 
best to list it here, simply as a warning example and to 
advise against its use. 

Chemistry and Manufacture 

ULTRAMARINE BLUE is one of the conquests of science of 
which chemistry may well be proud. As a pigment, in its 
natural state it has long been known. It can be obtained 
in its natural state and condition from lapis-lazuli, a 
semi-precious stone. There is little danger of the natural 
ultramarine ever becoming a dangerous rival of the arti- 
ficially prepared ; and if it had to be extracted from the 
stone now as formerly, it would hardly be employed as 
lavishly as it is to-day. 

Chemistry, however, revealed its composition; and ever 
since, its artificial reproduction has permitted it to be 
furnished at a nominal cost, and put it within the reach 
of any one, whereas formerly royalty only could have 
afforded its use as profusely as the average whitewasher 
could do to-day. 

The processes of manufacturing it artificially are well 
known, but are very intricate; and until within a com- 
paratively short time, this pigment was imported from 
Europe. To-day the largest works in the world are 
located at Newark, N. J., and produce as good an article 
as can be imported from anywhere. All the raw material 
that is used in the manufacture of ultramarine is cheap; 
it consists of kaolin, or china clay, silica, sodium sulphate, 



sodium carbonate, sulphur, charcoal, and rosin. Calcined 
alum is sometimes used instead of kaolin. After heating 
the ingredients together in crucibles and then cooling, a 
greenish porous cake is found, which is powdered 
and roasted (after the addition of sulphur) for several 
hours. It requires several powderings, washings, and 
dryings, also further calcinations to develop the proper 
blue color. 

To prepare it for use requires some careful manipula- 
tion. It should be washed with water free from lime, 
and requires to be finely ground. This improves the 
color very much, and any soluble impurities are removed 
by these washings. 

Properties and Uses 

The range of color is great in this pigment. It runs 
from a pure blue to a purple blue, and some shades even 
border upon the green, and are called green ultramarines. 
However, they are not true greens, and they cannot be 
listed among them. The shades that are free from purple 
are accounted the best, and for the purposes of the painter 
are certainly superior, as it is very easy to make a 
purple-shaded tint from a blue ultramarine, but it is 
impossible to make a clean blue tint from a purple 
tone of the same. 

Ultramarine should never be mixed with white lead 
for the making of tints, on account of the sulphur it con- 
tains. When it is used with a white base for that pur- 
pose, zinc white is much the best, and the tone of the 
tints will be cleaner and purer-looking. 

Sulphureted hydrogen does not affect artificial ultra- 
marine blue, neither does lime and other alkalies. Weak 
acetic acid or a saturated cold solution of alum does affect 
it, and in time will destroy it. It may be called a per- 


manent pigment, as sunlight does not impair it, and it is 
useful in either oil, japan, varnish, or distemper; but to 
be safe, it should not be used in connection with pigments 
that have acetic acid or alum in their composition. It 
is always safe when used alone as a solid color or with 
zinc white for the making of all blue tints. 

The coach painter finds good use for it, both for the 
painting of solid surfaces and for the glazing of them 
with the transparent kind. As this pigment is usually 
prepared, it covers fairly well, but it is inferior to Prussian 
blue in this regard. 

There is no particular standard whereby to judge of 
the value of this pigment other than that it should be of 
good blue tone, that it should cover well, and that it 
should be strong in coloring matter for the solid varieties; 
but the last two items do not apply to the kinds of it 
which are made upon a transparent base and which are 
intended for glazing. 

It is also extensively used for house painting, in the 
making of tints with zinc white, as these stand well, and 
remain unaffected by sunlight, which cannot be said of 
those made with Prussian blue. 

For distemper, it is also very useful for wall work and 
in decorating. 

This pigment may vary a good deal without any 
intentional adulteration of it. But, intentional or other- 
wise, it should be up to some good sample, which can be 
selected and preserved for comparison with it. There- 
fore the only rule to judge it by, and the one point upon 
which all would agree, is purity of its blue tone and 

It comes to market in its dry state in boxes containing 
28 pounds. It also comes ground in oil, japan, or varnish, 
as well as in water for distemper painting. 



History and Chemistry 

This pigment really deserves to be placed first upon 
the list of blues. It is probably used the most of 
all the blues by painters and decorators, but, owing to its 
being more fugitive in sunlight than ultramarine, it was 
thought best to give it as second on the list. 

Its history now dates back nearly two centuries, and 
its discovery was accidental. One Diesbach, in 1714, 
while he was precipitating a solution of alum to obtain a 
white base for the manufacture of lakes, used some potash 
that had been rectified with animal oil, and instead of 
precipitating a white substance, it precipitated a blue one. 
He had purchased the potash from a man named Dippel, 
who, having been informed of the occurrence, traced it to 
the proper cause and was able to produce Prussian blue. 
The process was kept a secret as long as possible, but in 
1724 it was discovered by Woodward, and by him made 

Its manufacture is as simple as can be, and is done by 
various processes, the necessary agent being prussiate of 
potash. This is obtained by fusing the potash of com- 
merce with blood or other aninial refuse. After careful 
preparation, it is of a yellow color. It is added to another 
solution made from two parts of alum and one part of 
sulphate of iron, the mixture filtered and allowed to settle. 
A double decomposition ensues, in which the iron com- 
bines with the potash of the prussiate, forming a sulphate 
of potash, while the prussiate of iron is thrown down, 
the sulphate of potash being held in solution. 

On the other hand, a similar decomposition takes place 
with the alum, and the superabundant carbonate of 
potash is mixed with the solution of prussiate of potash. 


By this means a sulphate of potash is formed, and the 
alumina or base of the alum is precipitated. These two 
precipitates, prussiate of iron and alumina, are produced 
at the same instant of time and are intimately mixed, 
producing a substance of a brilliant and intense blue, 
the Prussian blue of commerce; this, of course, after it has 
been well washed and dried. 

Whatever may be the system and methods of manipu- 
lation, and these may differ greatly, the equivalents of 
the above must be present to produce Prussian blue. 

Properties and Uses 

Prussian blue is a transparent pigment of great strength 
of coloring matter, capable of absorbing enormous 
quantities of linseed oil. On account of the fineness of its 
particles, and the still greater fineness which can be given 
them by thorough grinding, Prussian blue is held a long 
time in suspension before precipitating in that vehicle. 

Plow and implement manufacturers use it to paint over 
polished steel parts to preserve them from air or moisture, 
and consequent rust. In the diluted condition in which 
it is used for that purpose, it is thinned out in the pro- 
portion of one hundred pounds of linseed oil to one pound 
of the pigment. 

One may well wonder at the strength and power of 
coloring matter. A pound of it will tint a ton (2000 
pounds) of white lead to a decided sky blue. 

There are two qualities of Prussian blue, which may be 
thus described : Quality No. 1 is very good; quality No. 2 is 
good for nothing. The good should have a decided blue 
tone of great clearness; that is the only tone of it worth 
having. The other has a purplish or dirty blue-black 
tone, and no amount of trying to doctor it up will help any. 
The tints made from it are invariably sickly, miserably 


muddy-looking, and never give satisfaction. Any tint 
made from Prussian blue of good quality and a suitable 
white base is very clear, clean-toned, and fairly permanent 
under proper conditions. In time it acquires a slightly 
greenish hue, but much of this is due, in part at least, to 
the change that takes place in the oil. When, however, 
it comes in contact with lime, it bleaches entirely away; 
even the tints of it made with a white base will suffer. 
All the alkalies have the same property, which is fatal to 
it. Therefore it is unsuited for distemper work, especially 
when the walls are newly plastered, and where it will come 
in contact with lime which has lost none of its causticity. 

Soluble and Insoluble Varieties 

There are two distinct varieties of Prussian blue that 
differ only in that one is soluble in water, and the other 
is not. In the United States it is customary to designate 
as Prussian blue, only the variety which is insoluble in 
water; the soluble variety being better known as Chinese 
blue or as soluble blue. 


Properties and Uses 

Chinese blue is only a variation of Prussian blue. It 
possesses all the characteristics of the former with the one 
exception, it is soluble in water instead of insoluble. 
On account of its solubility, it is seldom used for distemper 
painting. A damp handkerchief laid over it for a minute 
will extract color. It is also subject to the same vicissi- 
tudes, when it comes in contact with lime and other 
caustic substances, as Prussian blue. 

After it has dried, when mixed with linseed oil, it is all 
right, and moisture will not affect it as long as the linseed 


oil is undecayed. Therefore for use in oil it is probably as 
good as the insoluble or Prussian blue. But, as it is 
identically the same thing, there is no need of cumbering 
the color list so uselessly as with a separate pigment. 
Prussian being the same, and furthermore, insoluble, it is 
the better of the two. 

As soluble blue, it has uses which are mainly in the 
preparation of bluing, either in the liquid form or in a dry 
powder for laundry purposes, for the preparation of car- 
penters' crayons, and many other economical purposes 
which are foreign to the subject matter of this treatise, 
and for that reason need not be related here. 


BLUE PIGMENTS (Continued) 


Manufacture, Properties, and Uses 

UNDER the name of cobalt blue there are several 
substances sold which claim to be it. The best known 
is that which is made by a combination of cobalt oxide 
and alumina. Thenard's blue, another variety of it, 
is a cobalt phosphate on an aluminous base. 

The first is the less complicated, and can be produced 
by calcining a well-triturated mixture of aluminum- 
hydrate and cobalt-oxide. The greatest care must be 
taken that the material used in the preparation of this 
pigment shall be free from iron and nickel; these sub- 
stances injure the purity of tone and the brilliancy of 
the cobalt blue. 

Cobalt blue is a permanent pigment, unaffected by 
light, moisture, or by oxygen. Cobalt can be safely used 
in true fresco, as it is unaffected by lime. It can also be 
safely used with any of the other pigments. It is not 
as strong in coloring matter as ultramarine blue, and is 
decidedly lighter in tone. 

Nineteen twentieths of the cobalt blue that is offered 
for sale in the United States, is compounded from a good 
quality of ultramarine blue and an admixture of zinc 
white, so that its shade may be lightened to that of cobalt 



blue, and of which this makes a good imitation. This 
imitation, in fact, is so close that even an expert would 
have difficulty in detecting it. To all intents and pur- 
poses, when the pigment is mixed with linseed oil, it is 
fully as good as true cobalt ; but if used in distemper, it is 
subject to the same baneful liabilities which have been 
indicated under the heading of that pigment, and 
instead of perfect security, which the true pigment would 
have given, there are the usual troubles arising from 

It is, therefore, questionable whether it will pay the 
painter to buy this as long as there is no assurance 
of its purity to be had. It is just as easy to make it 
as it is wanted; it is simply an ultramarine tint which 
can be prepared by any one from the mixing of ultra- 
marine and zinc white. 


Properties and Uses 

Ceruleum is little known in the United States. Church, 
in his " Chemistry of Paints," has this to say of it: 

"When oxide of tin is moistened with a cobalt nitrate 
solution and strongly heated, a greenish blue mass is 
obtained, which after powdering and washing consti- 
tutes one of the varieties of the pigments obtained from 
cobalt and known as Ceruleum. There are other ways 
of obtaining and preparing this pigment. One of these 
consists in precipitating potassium stannate with cobalt 
chloride, collecting and washing the precipitate and then 
mixing it with some pure silica. Some samples contain 
calcium sulphate or lead sulphate in place of the silica; 
these are of an inferior quality. 

" Ceruleum is a permanent pigment of a rather greenish 


blue color without any tendency to the violet cast, so 
noticeable with other cobalt blues when viewed by gas 
or candle light. It suffers little or no change by exposure 
to light or impure air, or by commixture with other pig- 
ments. It is a sub-opaque, rather earthy pigment with 
a moderate tinting power." 

Although some painters find it useful, it can really 
become so only when used where such deleterious con- 
ditions exist as would injure the otherwise excel- 
lent imitations that can be made of it from mixing 
together in the right proportions, viridian, ultramarine 
blue, and zinc white. 

It is never offered for sale in America except as an 
artist's color in tubes, and is likely to remain so, as the 
general trade can readily dispense with it and without 


Production, Properties, and Uses 

Chessylite comes from the village of Chessy near the 
city of Lyons, France, or rather it is named after it. It 
is of the same general character as malachite, and, like 
that pigment, is a copper compound, but contains less 
hydrate and more of the carbonate of that metal. It 
can be produced artificially, but when it is so made it is 
not as permanent as the natural. 

In the past century, and especially in the first half, it 
was much more employed than it is now. The cobalt 
blues and their ultramarine imitations have well-nigh 
driven it out of the market; and as these blues, to all 
intents and purposes, are non-poisonous while chessy- 
lite is not there can be no good excuse for continuing 
its use. It should be abandoned. 



Properties and Uses 

Under the above name, glass and other vitreous sub- 
stances containing cobalt and of a rich blue tone have 
long been known. 

It is now very seldom, if ever, used, and the term smalt 
has itself become diverted from its original meaning, and 
is applied to coarsely powdered colored glass and also to 
coarsely powdered colored sand which have been artifi- 
cially colored not only in blue but in black, or anything 
else. This smalt is chiefly used to sand grounds in sign 
work, the grounds having first been painted in oil color 
of a similar tint to the shade of the smalt thrown over 
it so as to hold the latter. 

Formerly blue smalt crystals were finely powdered, 
washed, and the lightest-weighted particles were used as 
pigment. Owing to its poor covering properties and the 
difficulty in using it, it is nearly obsolete, but as it is 
indicative of the origin of what is now known as Smalt, it 
is well worth notice. 

There are several other blues which at times have been 
used as pigments either in oil or distemper. All of them 
are now obsolete and their place taken by better ones. 
The introduction of artificial ultramarine blue and of 
Prussian blue has nearly destroyed the trade in other 
blues; indigo and other vegetable blues of a similar 
character being too fugitive and unstable in strong light, 
and all of them are undesirable in many respects. 


Provenance and Chemistry 

RAW UMBER is an earth pigment, and is found in every 
part of the world. As may be supposed, it differs greatly 
in quality as well as in composition, and its variations may 
well be called numberless. 

The umbers which have been found and mined so far in 
America are very inferior in quality to that which has 
come to be regarded as the standard by the color trade. 

The umbers mined in England and upon the continent 
of Europe come closer to the standard of excellence than 
the American umbers do; still, they fall short. 

That which is found in the island of Cyprus possesses 
in the highest degree all the good points, consequently 
it is the recognized standard. Some few samples are 
mined in and imported from Asia Minor that are little 
short of equaling the Cyprus umbers, and at one time 
these were so abundant upon the market that umbers 
of good quality were named after them; and even 
to-day in the United States all good umbers are sold as 
Turkey Umbers. 

Umbers are mined like all earth pigments such as ochers, 
etc., and in their natural state contain impurities which 
are removed by levigations in the manner described under 



The coloring matter of umbers is due to both iron oxides 
and to manganese dioxide. To the latter is no doubt due 
its excellent drying qualities in oil. The following 
analysis by Church shows the composition of a good 
sample of Cyprus umber, such as is imported, and is 
fairly representative of what the standard of excellence 
should be: 

Water given off at 100 C 4.8 

Water given off at red heat 8.8 

Iron oxide (Fe 2 2 ) 48.5 

Manganese oxide 19.0 

Lime 1.4 

Magnesia 0.5 

Phosphoric acid (P 2 5 ) 2.1 

Silica 13.7 

Carbonic acid, etc 0.3 


Properties and Uses 

The color of a good raw umber should be a greenish 
yellow brown, upon the citrine order when dry. It is 
classed among the semi-transparent pigments. It can be 
used in oil, japan varnish, or for distemper work, and in 
any of the vehicles gives good satisfaction. Without 
doubt it is the most useful of the brown pigments to be 
found in the whole list. While umber is not so brilliant 
as the burnt siennas, it can be used for a much wider 
range of purposes, and it is a pure brown. The siennas, 
or at least the burnt, should have been classed with the 
reds, but the raw sienna is a true brown and this saves 
a double classification of it. 

All classes of painters regard umber as a necessity: 
the house painter to mix tints from it for his drabs and 
the various browns; the grainer for most all of his colors 
either in oil or in distemper; the coach and car painter 
for mixing many popular brown tints; the kalsominer 


and decorator for making wall tints; the frescoer and 
decorators for mixing into tints and for solid work; the 
japanner for the hundreds of browns and drabs of which 
it is the foundation; and the artists in either oil or water- 
colors. What would they do without it? 

It is prepared by paint manufacturers in oil, japan 
varnish, and in distemper. For the grinding of it in paste 
form in oil, it takes up nearly as much linseed oil as do 
the siennas. Next to these also, it is one of the hardest 
of the earth pigments to grind. When ground in oil it 
should be clear-toned without any muddiness, and when 
greatly reduced in oil should not show any specks upon 
glass. When so thinned out it should be transparent. 
Quality gives umbers their chief value; the strength of 
coloring matter comes only second to that. The first is 
an easy thing to determine by one who is used to handling 
them. To test for quality, it should be spread out with 
the palette knife and smoothed over the glass. This will 
enable one to notice the clearness of tone, its richness and 
the fineness of grinding. If one has supplied himself 
with a line of good artists' colors in tubes, placing a trifle 
of that alongside of the one tested there will be no trouble 
in coming to a right conclusion as to the merits of the 
umber. It is a hard matter to convey by words, the exact 
look a color should have, therefore the advice given 
under directions for making color tests of providing a 
full line of good artist colors to judge of the quality 
value of pigments is again strongly urged. 

The scale test as previously described, will easily detect 
any undue weakness in the amount of coloring matter 
contained, and, in a certain measure, the tints made from 
them will help in forming an idea of the quality of the 
umber. As to the strength of the coloring, one should 
not be too quick in condemning the weaker simply 


because it may not be as strong as another. Between 
two umbers, equal in other respects, the better of the 
two is the stronger; but between two samples one 
of which is greatly superior to the other in quality 
the poorer may possibly be the stronger. In such a case, 
no mere strength can atone for lack of quality. Usu- 
ally, however, the better the quality the stronger they 
are, so that one need not fear the making of a test for 
strength, as it is almost a sure thing that the best toned 
will be also the strongest. 

The better class of manufacturers are now putting out 
their pure umbers under their names and also those of 
dependable quality in their best grade. The others under 
their names, also put out a pure umber, but sometimes it 
is not of the best quality, and in reality inferior to a good 
one that is adulterated. At the risk of becoming tedious 
in repeating it, the caution is again given: Purity without 
quality amounts to little in an umber. 

Umbers are not affected injuriously by sunlight, impure 
air, nor ordinary heat. By constant exposure to very 
high temperatures, it becomes more reddish. 

The raw umbers make permanent tints of great beauty 
with either white lead or zinc white, chiefly of the drab 
order. It is used also in the compounding of a wide 
range of tints with other colored pigments, and for the 
making of certain neutral greens it is indispensable to 
artists and decorators. 

.' : % 


Properties and Uses 

It is needless to repeat here what has been said under 
the heading of raw umber, as very much, in fact nearly 
the whole of it, applies with equal force to the burnt. 


Aside from its tone, which is changed to a deep, rich 
brown, all the rest applies to it. 

As the name indicates, burnt umber is a calcined umber. 
This calcination gives its rich brown color; and in the 
better grades, it will be of a clear and pure tone of brown 
and entirely free from redness. This is indeed remarkable, 
and must be a peculiar property of the iron oxide con- 
tained in the best grades of umber, for such a quantity 
of iron oxide as was shown in the above analysis of raw 
umber ought to make it of a decided red brown after 
calcination, and the poorer sorts do show it. So far no 
satisfactory explanations have been given which account 
for this peculiarity. In the American and other inferior 
kinds of umber, the reddish tone shows up, and that is a 
"dead give-away" as to their provenance and quality; 
so to correct it, these cheap umbers are compounded and 
manipulated with a view of correcting this defect. They 
are mixed with some of the semi-transparent black earths 
to improve the tone and hide the reddishness of it as far 
as possible. While the compounding kills to some degree 
the redness of the umber, it does not entirely do so, and 
the addition of the black earths renders the tone muddy, 
and there is no clearness in them. The eye in most 
instances is sufficient to detect the imposition. 

Burnt umber is used for all kinds of painting, and for 
the same purposes enumerated under the heading of raw 
umber. It makes a different order of tints of drabs and 
browns with the white bases, and can be associated with 
any of the other permanent pigments for the production 
of an innumerable variety of tints. Some painters have 
complained of the tints made from it with white lead 
as not being permanent. All pigments which contain 
oxide of iron in its natural state, usually have it in an 
hydrate form, and after calcination and constant exposure 


there seems to be a slight return toward the natural 
condition previous to calcination; but this in a good 
umber is so very slight, that it would hardly be 
noticeable. The probability is that in the case of 
many of these complaints, the trouble was in the 
sinking of the oil and the apparent bleaching out of 
the lead. If linseed oil is applied over the faded 
part, the color will be restored to its original tint 
without loss of intensity. If the color is at fault, the 
applying of the oil will not restore the color, if that is 
gone. If one has such a trouble, it will be an easy 
matter to test it, and to ascertain by the above simple 
test where the fault lies. 

There is such a thing as false economy; and that it 
certainly is, to buy an inferior quality of burnt umber. 
Much of the disappointment of painters in its use, arises 
from the employment of poor or doctored umbers. 


General Characteristics and History 

Siennas earths, for earth they are are really a 
species of ochers and they do not differ greatly from 
them in their chief constituents. It has already been 
explained that many of the American ochers border 
upon the threshold of the siennas, and on this 
account it is sometimes very difficult to place them 
properly. The more transparent of them are usually 
sold as siennas. 

Siennas, then, may be said to be transparent ocher of a 
brownish yellow tone. The finest qualities come from 
Italy, and, as their name, Terra di Sienna, indicates, are 
mined near the city of Sienna. But it is found else- 
where and of even better quality. The headquarters for 


the distribution of the siennas in Italy is the city of 
Leghorn, and excellent beds of it are found in the 
immediate vicinity. 


Siennas usually contain a larger percentage of ferric- 
oxide hydrate than do most of the European ochers 
proper, as the following analysis by C. H. Hurst indicates : 

Hygroscopic water . . . . . 8 . 2 to 17 . 5 

Combined water . . . . . .' 9.0 to 12. 4 

Manganese dioxide . . . . . . . 6 to 1.5 

Iron oxide (Fe 2 O 3 ) 45.8 to 59.7 

Silica 5.0 to 17.4 

The above analysis covers the extremes, and varia- 
tions will be found between the two. 

Siennas are mined as other ochers are, and they have 
to be purified in the same way and manner as was fully 
indicated under that heading. 

Properties and Uses 

It is an easy matter to judge of the value of a 
sienna. If the sample to be examined is ground in 
oil, it should be spread upon a clean piece of glass in 
the same manner as for the umbers. After smoothing 
it over with the palette knife, one can judge of its 
clearness of tone and transparency by holding it 
between the eye and the light. Spreading with a 
surplus of oil will indicate the fineness of the grinding. 
If it has been properly ground it will be entirely free 
from specks or cloudiness, and it should appear com- 
pletely absorbed by the oil. In the raw sienna, the 
tone should be a clear, subdued yellow, with just the 
slightest tinge of brown showing in it. 



Properties and Uses 

Raw sienna is useful for a wide range of work, covering 
all the various branches of painting. 

To the graining trade especially it is most indispensable; 
it could not be replaced with anything else. 

The general house painter and the decorators depend 
upon it for the making of many beautiful cream tints 
in linseed oil, with the usual white bases or with whiting, 
etc., for distemper wall work or decorations. 

Raw siennas are absolutely permanent. No change 
can take place in them when they are used alone and 
when mixed with other pigments; the only changes are 
such as take place in the pigments with which they are 
mixed and which are inherent to them, and, of course, such 
changes as are natural to the vehicles used in their appli- 


Properties and Uses 

As the name indicates, this is the raw sienna after it 
has been calcined. The roasting or burning produces a 
very great change in the color of the raw sienna. It 
transforms its color from a yellowish brown to a beautiful 
subdued red-brown of great richness. So rich is it, 
indeed, in some of the better samples, as to create the 
impression in the beholder's mind that possibly it might 
have been tampered with, and had been "fixed up" and 
enriched by the addition of a lake. Yet in all the best 
and finest qualities of that pigment, this richness is 
inherent in the sienna itself and this tone is 
permanent, which it would not be were it put there by 
laking it up. 


It is the practice of some color makers to use two differ- 
ent kinds of burnt siennas in their grindings. They 
choose among the samples of native siennas such as are 
very strong in coloring matter, and these they grind for 
the general trade, who use siennas mainly in the making 
of tints with white lead or white zinc in oil or with whit- 
ing in distemper. A word must be put in here regarding 
the making of tints with burnt siennas. Even the very 
best of them do not give as good satisfaction as might 
be expected from such fine pigments. The range of tints 
made from burnt sienna and the white bases are at best 
but indifferent, and as good or better can be made from 
the use of Venetian red ocher with the faint addition 
of black, at a less cost for material and with equally as 
good results as far as durability goes. The grinders, being 
aware of this peculiarity, therefore, use an indifferently- 
toned burnt sienna which is strong in coloring matter 
but deficient in richness; and as this richness is only 
apparent when the burnt sienna is used as a self color, it 
does not matter. This is sometimes labeled as House 
Painters' Burnt Sienna to distinguish it from the other 
grinding which they make of the rich transparent kind, 
and which is labeled by them as Grainers' Burnt Sienna. 
This is intended for use as a self color, and, as such, all the 
richness is appreciated fully, and by none more than the 
grainers and decorators; this is selected for the very 
purpose for which the grainers need them, transparency, 
richness and clearness, associated with impalpably fine 
grinding. These are not strong as a rule, and, in testing 
a sienna for values, the mere strength should never be 
taken into consideration in estimating the higher grades. 

Volumes might be written, but all would not be said 
about the uses and abuses of the siennas. They have 
many friends among all classes of painters and artists, 


and the few who have any trouble with them will find 
that they themselves are to be blamed for having used 
them for purposes and under circumstances where they 
should not have been employed. 


Provenance and Preparation 

Van Dyke brown is a pigment of bituminous character, 
and is usually found in or near bogs. Many theories have 
been advanced as to what it really is. Some suppose it 
to be a form of lignite, resulting from the decomposition 
of vegetation. However that may be, it contains more 
or less bitumen. It is found in England and Ireland, 
but the best that is upon the market is that which is 
imported from Cassel, in Germany. 

Vandyke brown is known as cassel earth in many parts 
of the world. It contains iron, and should be calcined 
and well cleaned of its impurities before grinding. 

Properties and Uses 

Vandyke brown is used by grainers in both oil and in 
distemper, and by some in the coloring of fillers for fur- 
niture factories. It is not a permanent pigment, and 
becomes lighter and redder by exposure to sunlight. It 
is a very powerful anti-drier in linseed oil. It therefore 
requires the greatest of care in use. In tone it has a 
peculiarly pleasing walnut brown, different from that of 
any other pigment. It is very transparent, and that 
would make it an ideal grainer's pigment. 

But, on account of its defects, it is being gradually 
replaced by burnt umber, tinged to imitate its tone and 
to correspond so nearly to it as to deceive the casual 


It is hardly necessary to observe that tints made from 
it with the whites are subject to fade from the same 
causes which affect the color when it is used by itself, 
and as all the tints which can be made from it are readily 
reproduced by using burnt umber, black and blue, and 
that when they are so made they are permanent, the use 
of Vandyke brown for the making of tints has nearly 
become obsolete, and is hardly ever resorted to except 
by novices. 

The grainers will hardly be willing to part with it for 
distemper work in the graining of walnut. It is better 
suited to that than any other, as on account of its trans- 
parency there is a depth of tone shown under varnish, 
which is unattainable by the use of any brown pigment. 


Preparation and Manufacture 

Under that generic appellation, some excellent pig- 
ments are produced in the United States. All are native 
iron ores or highly ferruginous earths mined in all parts 
of the country, but especially in the Appalachian system 
of mountains of the eastern seaboard, extending from 
Pennsylvania in the north to Alabama in the south. 
The Rocky Mountain system contains also some fine 
samples of these, and here and there are found outcrops 
of them in the great valley between the two. This ore 
or iron earth is calcined by roasting, pulverized, levigated, 
dried and barreled, and is then ready for market. There 
is a great deal of variation in its character and in the 
amount of ferric-oxide coloring matter it contains. 

The samples vary in the percentage of color contained 
to a greater degree than any of the earth colors, ranging 
from nearly nothing to 90 per cent of iron oxide. The 


bases upon which the coloring iron oxide rests vary 
almost as much as that. Most of these browns contain 
so much coloring matter that the color itself is really the 
base, and the other matter found with it is of so small 
a percentage that its presence is merely to be considered 

Properties and Uses 

The metallic browns mix readily and absorb a fair 
quantity of linseed oil as a rule, the nature of the accom- 
panying base having something to do with that. They 
range in tint from bright red brown to dark purple, 
and all sorts of intermediate shades between these 

Metallic browns are extensively used for roof and barn 
painting, the painting of iron bridges, structural iron and 
steel, freight cars, etc.; in short, for nearly everything 
where a good substantial covering is required, where the 
main consideration is good service, but does not lie in 
the beauty of the finish. 

They are also useful in the making of certain brown 
tints, either alone or as adjuncts to other pigments. 
The manufacturers of mixed paints use tons in their 
better grades either as bases for the darker tints or as 
tinting colors in the making of certain shades. 

They are fairly permanent, showing little tendency 
to change, other than that pertaining to all iron oxide 
pigments that of darkening by age but linseed 
oil probably is the cause of as much of it as the 
pigment. No one should hesitate to use them for 
all kinds of work where a cheap, but dependable paint 
of no special beauty is required. They can be much 
improved in looks by combining with some of the 
brighter pigments. 


They possess great covering properties, and one coat, 
even when thinned excessively with linseed oil, will 
usually cover solid any other color over which it is 

It commonly comes in the dry state packed in barrels 
of 300 pounds capacity. It is ground in oil also, and 
put up in the familiar tin packages and wooden kegs and 


Properties and Uses 

To all intents and purposes, this pigment might have 
been included with the mineral browns. As a distinctive 
appellation to designate a shade of brown color, it has 
no signification whatever to-day, whatever it may have 
had in that regard in the past. It is still known and 
sold under that name in many localities, but this is 
chiefly confined to Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the 
eastern and southern seaboard. Since the advent of 
the metallic browns, the name has become a memory 
with the older painters of the middle and western states, 
and is almost unknown to the younger generation of the 

All that can be said for it is that under the name, any- 
thing, or rather any kind of a dirty red brown earth, is 
usually sold as such, and the grades of metallic browns, 
which are sometimes sold as Spanish Brown, are of a 
lower order than are those sold under other names. 

The use of the name should be discouraged as it is not 
best to have confusing elements. The nomenclature of 
pigments is complex enough to suit the most fastidious, 
and the purpose should be to keep it as simple as possible. 

Other substances have been and are listed as brown 
pigments by certain houses catering to the artist's trade. 


None of these have any special virtues worth noticing 
here and they are passed by. Most of them are but 
variations of some of those that are listed and described 
such as bister and asphaltum and are so undesirable, 
even for artists' use, that they, as well as the painters and 
decorators, might profitably learn to dispense with them 
as pigments, whatever value they may have in other 




Chemistry and Manufacture 

THERE cannot possibly be any hesitation or uncertainty 
experienced in selecting a black for first place on the 
list. This place belongs by common consent to lamp 
black. Although it is far from being the blackest black, 
or the purest toned black, it must be accorded first 
place, because of its greater usefulness over any of the 
other blacks. 

Lamp black is a soot, produced by the incomplete 
combustion of resins, resinous woods, fats and fatty oils, 
paraffin and paraffin oils. These substances are burned 
with an insufficient supply of air, so that a considerable 
portion of the carbon they contain may be deposited as 
soot. The soot thus produced is far from being pure 
carbon, and, of necessity, much of the tarry products of 
imperfect production or destructive distillation are present 
in combination with it. These foreign admixtures give 
it the undesirable tones to be found in the inferior grades. 
Owing to their greasiness it is almost impossible to use 
them with linseed oil, as they are highly non-drying. 
Much of the impurity is deposited in or near the first 
receiving chamber, and the lamp black which is deposited 
the farthest away from where the substances are burned 
is the freest from impurities. 



Calcination in an intense red heat burns up most of 
these non-drying oils and tarry products and then the 
lamp black is perfect. The first that is deposited is 
usually sold dry in the well-known small paper cones, 
and these bear no manufacturers' names. The rest is 
selected and graded according to its color and freedom 
of foreign matter. Usually there are three qualities 
selected besides the inferior one mentioned. 

Some substances produce a better lamp black than 
others, and there are many little tricks of trade and 
manipulations known to and employed by certain manu- 
facturers that are probably not known to others, as some 
do produce much better blacks from the same material. 

Properties and Uses 

Lamp black being nearly pure carbon is inalterable 
and is absolutely permanent and unchangeable. 

The oft-cited signboard left and forgotten for genera- 
tions in the back yard, and which has had its ground 
coats of white paint eaten away, and where the board 
itself is disappearing in the shape of lint picked up by 
birds, for the making of their nests, until the black letter- 
ing painted upon it originally, stands out as if carved 
out from the wood, in bold relief among the general 
decadence surrounding it, is a very good illustration of 
its permanency and preserving powers. Such old-time 
signboards may be found and noticed in any neighbor- 

Lamp black seems to act as a preservative from decay 
to the linseed oil and to help it postpone indefinitely the 
day when it should go the way of all flesh and perish. 

One of the chief uses of lamp black is in the making 
of gray tints with white lead and zinc white, as the tints 
so made are free from the brown gray tones so objection- 


able in some of the bone blacks, and especially of the red 
brown grays produced by the use of gas or carbon blacks. 
The lamp blacks give a clear-toned clean bluish gray, or 
rather the cast of it, as it is not a blue tone at all. These 
grays are distinctively its property, and through them 
may be distinguished its purity and quality. Lamp 
black is very strong in coloring matter, and its strength 
makes it an economical tinting agent. 

For solid painting, where an intense black is required, 
it may not be as good as some of the bone blacks, but 
when any solid black painting is done, where intensity of 
tone is not of the first importance, its use will prove much 
the most satisfactory. 

On account of the lightness of its weight and conse- 
quent bulkiness, it is very difficult to mix it with water. 
It floats, and no amount of ducking it under will make 
it stay down. When it is wanted for use in distemper, 
it should first be mixed to a stiff paste with vinegar, in 
which liquid it is not so refractory as it is in water. It 
can afterwards be thinned with glue water and used for 
the making of tints or by itself as desired. 

From its great bulk it may be well surmised that it 
absorbs great quantities of linseed oil, and it surely does. 
In fact, it absorbs more than any of the other pigments. 
Owing to the great quantity of oil it absorbs, many 
grinders cannot resist the temptation to add some 
barytes to it. This can be done without the use of any 
additional oil, but this can be detected readily by the 
smaller-sized packages required to pack any given weight 
of it. The smarter ones put some bulky stuff along with 
it, and then the eye will not suffice, and a scale test will 
be required to determine its purity. There should be 
but very little difference between two samples of equal 
purity, as to their strength. However, one may have 


been ground with more oil than another, or have lain 
upon the shelves until the oil has risen; therefore the 
samples should be placed upon a piece of blotting paper 
and the oil extracted from them so all may be used in 
the same form of a very stiff paste before weighing them. 
A good lamp black, even the very best, is never of a jet 
tone, and alongside of a good bone black it looks grayish 
black. Therefore, if it looks blacker than it should to 
a person in the habit of using lamp black, it is possible 
and nearly certain that it has been bolstered up with an 
admixture of gas black. 

It is, or rather has been, the habit of some grinders 
of small reputation as to the class of colors they put out, 
to use a cheap or poor lamp black and to color it up with 
carbon black, so that it will pass muster. If this is sus- 
pected, it can be quickly determined by simply using a 
little with some white lead which should make a gray tint 
of it. If it produces the usual gray without any brownish 
hue to it, the lamp black is all right; if, however, the tint 
so made does show a brownish tone, a solemn oath can 
be taken, without fear of perjuring one's self, that 
the black has been tampered with and that the tam- 
pering agent is gas or carbon black. Any court would 
clear one of perjury after reading the evidence presented 
by a chemical analysis and the sworn statements of 
its examination by experts. 

Properties and Uses 

Gas or Carbon black, as it is indifferently called, is 
really only a variety of lamp black. It is produced in a 
similar manner as that pigment, but with this difference, 
that it is made exclusively from the incomplete combus- 


tion of natural gas. It is therefore the soot produced 
by that commodity. 

It is readily distinguishable from true lamp black in 
that it is by far the blacker looking black of the two, and 
that for jettiness, true lamp black alongside of it is 
not in it. 

While the tone of this black is very superior to 
lamp black, it possesses some very grave defects that 
have in a great measure prevented its adoption for 
general use. Should these defects ever be satisfactorily 
overcome, it then would become the black, for solid 
painting at least. 

One of its principal faults is that when mixed with 
linseed oil, it livers it. In trade parlance, liver ing means 
that peculiar action some pigments have of turning the 
oil into a jelly-like condition; it thickens to such an 
extent that it cannot be used with the brush in painting. 

The livering of gas black is prevented to a certain extent 
by compounding it with other pigments, and the best use 
that is made of carbon black is when it is associated with 
other blacks. The sign writer's so-called blacks are 
usually compounded from true lamp black and carbon 

Its one other great fault has been noted already. It 
makes very poor grays, and, while a true lamp black can 
be improved with it in self color for solid black painting, 
yet on account of its poorness for tints it must be con- 
sidered as an adulterant, as the innocent purchaser 
might want it for the making of tints, and in that case he 
is simply swindled. Why not sell each for what it is 
and let the painters do their own compounding? In the 
case of a sign-writer's black, it is different. Then it is 
not passed as a lamp black or any particular black, and 
the name itself indicates that it is to be used for solid 


painting. If one uses it for making tints, he does so at 
his own risk, because the label does not convey any idea 
of its fitness for it. 

Some manufacturers have put out carbon blacks under 
various names, but, for probably good reasons, none of 
them have become very popular so far; and while they 
seem to have stopped the livering of it, this may have 
been done at the expense of another quality of the pig- 
ment which has been disturbed by the addition of the 
preventive. Be that as it may, it certainly is a fine- 
looking black, and it is a pity that it does not possess the 
other good qualities of lamp black; if it did that would 
not be in it. 

Its best use has been upon ship work. Steamships 
painted with it look immensely better than when painted 
with ordinary lamp black. Nearly all the transatlantic 
lines now use it regularly for that purpose. 


Manufacture and Preparation 

Ivory black, drop black and coach black form a trinity of 
blacks, but in reality are but one and the same black, with 
the exception hereafter named. So it is thought best to 
bunch them under one head. 

The above blacks are all bone black. The bone black 
selected for their manufacture should be from the hardest 
and jettiest samples. 

Bone black would be too common a name for these 
blacks, and probably for that reason it has been dubbed 
ivory black. It stands to reason that as there is scarcely 
enough ivory in existence to supply the demand for ivory 
black in the United States alone for a single year, let 
alone the demands that exist for it in Europe and all 


civilized countries, the black that is sold under that 
name cannot be it. 

Bone black is properly animal charcoal. This is made 
upon the same principle as wood charcoal. The bones 
are placed in a retort and are calcined in a hot furnace 
where atmospheric air is excluded. The better qualities 
of bone black are made from selected hard bones such as 
animals' teeth, etc. The resulting bone charcoal is pul- 
verized before placing upon the market. 

The variety of it known as drop black is the same black 
made into little cones of the shape and size of a large 
chocolate drop in which form it was more familiar 
to old-time painters than to those of the present day. 
These little cones resulted from the bone black, which, 
after grinding, had been mixed with water (holding a slight 
adhesive in solution) into a stiff paste, and the little dabs 
of it placed upon trays to dry were the cones or drops 
which gave the bone black the name it still carries to-day 
minus the drops. The drops were placed upon a 
marble slab and ground with oil with a muller after first 
crushing it. That made life a burden, or at least the 
painters of that period thought so, for, if they had a large 
job upon which it had to be used, it meant the spending 
of their evenings till ten or eleven o'clock grinding away 
for dear life. 

Ivory and drop black have a small admixture of 
Prussian blue added to them to correct any brownish 
tone. Coach black has no blue added to its bone black 
composition. That is all the difference that there is 
between them. A color manufacturer, to whom the 
writer had once made the same criticism, laughingly 
replied that there was still another difference which had 
been forgotten, and when asked what this was replied, 
" 'The different labels upon the cans." 


The ivory blacks are used in oil, japan, varnish and 
water. They are good blacks when well made and are 
used in all mediums. As an oil color they are usually 
too transparent to use for solid painting, except as a last 
coat over a previous solid one of lamp black, where that 
color is insufficiently black to suit. They are excellent 
in distemper, and the grainers find them advantageous 
for their work in either distemper or oil, for the 
working in of dark veins, knots or shades, for which 
they are admirably adapted on account of their trans- 

In japan they are invaluable to the car and carriage 
painters. The carriage manufacturers use enormous 
quantities of it in the painting of buggies, surreys, coaches, 
etc., not only for the solid black painting, but for the 
mixing of the numberless dark greens used by the trade 
in the painting of everything that runs on wheels. 

Formerly every carriage shop used to buy the various 
colors ground separately and mix the various shades in the 
shop as wanted, but now few of them do so, and these 
various dark greens under an array of magnificent names 
are compounded and made to match at color works where 
the proper facilities exist for handling them to the best 
advantage and with the most assurance of duplicating 
them semper idem. The multitude of names given 
special blacks, or rather grindings of them, is bewildering, 
as every manufacturer has a long list of his own which 
he tries to make as puzzling as he can, and besides 
that he has a number of special-formula blacks which he 
grinds for certain carriage factories, each having a special 
name. One may as well look for a needle in a haystack as 
to try to understand the average coach color list. About 
the only indication of quality is the net price, and fre- 
quently even that is not. 


All this confusion about an article which, when let 
alone, is purely bone black, looks to the disinterested 
spectator as if there might be some money in it, or it 
could not be kept up. If goods were simply labeled and 
sold for what they were, as first, second, third, or fourth 
quality, or as compounds of this and that, then it would 
be easy for one to know what he was buying; while, if the 
average buyer can be puzzled, there exists a chance to 
demand an undue profit. 

The ivory blacks are also used largely by the 
japanning plants, enameling works of all kinds, bicycle 
factories, etc., they are very permanent under any and 
all situations. 


Preparation, Properties', and Uses 

As the name of this pigment indicates, or at least one of 
the two names under which it is known in the United 
States does give an inkling of its origin. Charcoal black 
is a product due to combustion, and, like ivory black, it is 
also a charcoal, but there is no bone or any sort of 
animal matter in its composition. It is a wood charcoal 
and of vegetable origin. 

The wood used in the making of it has a great deal to do 
with its quality. This wood should be entirely free from 
resinous matter. Some of the best of it is produced by the 
calcination in a close vessel at a high heat of peach and 
plum pits, cocoanut shells, cork waste, grape-vine cuttings, 
etc., the powdered charcoal of which forms the blue black 
of commerce. 

It is, of course, essential in a good black that the cal- 
cination should be thoroughly done, so that the product 
may be free from any tarry or empyreumatic substances. 


Blue black is unchangeable and entirely reliable in dis- 
temper work, and for that purpose is the black par ex- 
cellence. Decorators arid artists use it mostly, and that 
only in water colors. It is also used occasionally by some 

In oil it has little if any body, and for that reason is 
seldom, if ever, used but as a glazing color, or for shading, 
and obtaining certain effects of depth unattainable with 
body pigments. 


Production and Preparation 

Graphite is the name under which this substance is best 
known as a pigment in the United States, and is a mineral 
carbon of a peculiar atomic formation. It is found in all 
parts of the known world with considerable difference in 
its quality, sometimes varying a good deal in the same 
ledge or vein. 

That found in the Ural Mountains in Russia is the best 
of any mined in the Old World. Mexico produces the 
best that has been found so far in the New World. There 
is much of it mined in the United States, especially in 
New England, and it exists in New York State in the Lake 
Champlain region. It is seldom found in a state of entire 
purity, and calcination is the means usually employed to 
free it from impurities. The ashes of these are removed 
by levigation. After repeated washings, it should be 
digested with a strong solution of hydrochloric acid to 
remove any iron or alumina. After another levigating 
it is washed in a leaden vessel with hydrofluoric acid to 
remove the silica. After another thorough washing 
and grinding to reduce it to a fine powder, it is ready 
for use. 


For distemper work it can be relied upon never to 
change. It is also permanent in oil, and when ground in 
that media it is of a dark slate color. It is an excellent iron 
paint, and is now extensively used for that purpose and as 
a paint for tin roofs. The dullness of its color is against 
it for anything but utilitarian purposes. 

One great fault with it is that it shows markings readily, 
and a surface painted with it soon resembles a huge slate 
upon which everything that touches it with a little force, 
leaves its mark; unfortunately, unlike a slate, it cannot 
be sponged off. 

There are a number of other black and semi-black 
pigments that might be added to the above list, but they 
are mostly obsolete, or of such a nature that they do not 
deserve notice. For instance, certain black or semi- 
black natural earths sometimes listed in catalogues as 
Mineral Blacks have never had any standing, nor have 
they ever received the recognition of the paint trade. 
They have mainly served the purpose of swelling the 
lists of a few paint grinders who may possibly have local 
trade in them for special purposes to which they may be 
adapted or used through ignorance of better. 

Such blacks as India ink, which are principally special 
preparations of lamp black, do not come within the scope 
of this treatise. 

The above comprises all the useful pigments. There 
are many compounds that are palmed off upon the public 
as pigments which will be vainly looked for here. Such 
have no more legitimate right to the name than would 
have any others of the thousands of tints made by the 
combination of true pigments. For instance, the stuff 
sold under the name of Gray Ocher, is not an ocher at all, 
and is a poor compound of shale or soft, crushed stone. 


No little confusion exists in the minds of many men, 
as to what is the right or proper name for certain pigments. 
When they happen to know a pigment by a given name, 
and it happens that this pigment is offered them by a 
dealer or is listed in a catalogue under another title, they 
are deterred from using it, as they cannot recognize it 
under its other name, and they suppose it to be entirely 
different from the one they want. 

It is deplorable that there is no universally acknowl- 
edged nomenclature for pigments that would be recog- 
nized in all languages all over the world, or even an 
acknowledged nomenclature for the English speaking 

Custom in the United States is beginning to fix definite 
meanings to certain designations, whereby a few of the 
pigments and their different, qualities may be known, but 
the work is far from complete and from being universally 
acknowledged even by our nation alone. So in Canada, 
Australia, New Zealand, the British Isles, where trade 
connections are not very close with us, the variations 
are bound to be greater than the ones which exist here 
where the usages of the paint trade have established a 
quasi-uniformity in a few of the leading pigments at 

The names which have been adopted in this treatise 
and which have been given to the various pigments, are 



those under which they are principally known and sold 
in the United States. 

In the following tables the name adopted as standard 
in the preceding chapters for each pigment will be given 
preference. It will be placed in the left column. The 
synonyms under which the pigment is also known will be 
found in the column upon the right, and all bracketed 
together when more than one is used. 

Thus any one seeking information concerning a pig- 
ment which he knows under another name than that 
which is given it in the treatise, can readily find it by 
looking for it in the right column of the group of colors 
to which it belongs, then, having found it, look at the left 
column, where he will find the name adopted for that 
same color, under which name he will find the des- 
cription he seeks. 

To facilitate the finding of the names, the same classi- 
fication and grouping have been followed as in the descrip- 
tion given the pigments. This renders the finding of any 
certain color's names an easy task. 


The White Pigments 

White lead 

Flake white. 
Cremnitz white. 
Silver white, or 

Blanc d'argent. 
Cerusa or ceruse. 
Cremser weiss (Ger.). 
Blanc de plomb (Fr.). 
f Chinese white. 

Zinc white 

Blanc de zinc (Fr.). 

{Carbonate of lime. 
Spanish white. 
Paris white. 



Kaolin . . . 
Gypsum . . 

White silicate 

Baryta white 

China clay. 
Sulphate of lime. 
Silver white. 
Powdered silica. 

Sulphate of barium. 
Floated barytes. 
Heavy spar. 
Permanent white. 
Permanent weiss (Ger.). 
Blanc fixe (Fr.). 

The Yellow Pigments 


Chrome yellow 

Baryta lemon yellow 


Indian yellow 

Yellow ocher. 
French ocher. 
Roman ocher. 
Mineral yellow. 
Brown ocher. 
American ocher. 
Oxford ocher. 
Mars yellow. 
Mars orange. 
Artificial ocher. 
Gelben ocher (Ger.). 
Mars gelb (Ger.). 
Ochre jaune (Fr.). 
Jaune de Mars (Fr.). 


Chromate of lead. 
Canary chrome yellow. 
Lemon chrome yellow. 
Orange chrome yellow. 
Crom gelb (Ger.). 
Chrome jaune (Fr.). 

Baryta yellow. 

Barium chromate. 

Yellow ultramarine. 

Permanent yellow. 

Gomme gutte. 
[Cobalt yellow. 
{Kobalt gelb (Ger.). 
I Jaune de cobalt (Fr.). 


Indisch gelb (Ger.) 
Uaune Indien (Fr.). 



Naples yellow 

Dutch pink 

King's yellow 

Cadmium yellow 

Giallo di Napoli (It.). 
Neapel gelb (Ger.). 
Jaune de Naples (Fr.). 
Jaune d'antimoine (Fr.). 

Yellow lake. 
Brown pink. 
Citrine lake. 
Yellow madder. 
Italian pink. 
Quercitron lake. 
Dunkel gelb lack (Ger.). 
Laque brun jaune (Fr.). 

Konigs gelb (Ger.). 
Jaune royal (Fr.). 

Orient yellow. 
Aurora yellow. 
Orange cadmium. 
Sulphide of cadmium. 
Cadmium gelb (Ger.). 
Jaune de cadmium (Fr.). 
Jaune brilliant (Fr.). 

The Red Pigments 


Vermilions Reds or Imitation 
Vermilions , 

American vermilion 

Venetian red 

Indian red 

English vermilion. 
Chinese vermilion. 
Zunsober (Ger.). 
Vermilion (Fr.). 

Sold under a multitude of pro- 
prietary names. 
Chromate of lead. 




Caput mortuum vitrioli. 

Burnt ocher. 

Sinoper (Ger.). 

Rouge de Venise (Fr.), 

Ochre rouge (Fr.). 

Persian red. 
Indian red ocher. 
Indische roth (Ger.). 
Rouge d'Inde (Fr.). 



Madder lakes 

Indian lake 


Red ocher 

Red lead 

Pink madder lake. 
Rose madder lake. 
Madder carmine. 
Madder red. 
Rubens madder. 
Madder purple. 
Madder lake. 
Madder brown. 
Krapp lack (Ger.). 
Carmm de Garance (Fr.) 
Laque de Garance (Fr.). 

Lac lake. 

Lack lack (Ger.). 

Laque d'Inde (Fr.). 

rimson lake. 
Purple lake. 
Carmin lack (Ger.). 
"armin (Fr.) 
Laque Cramoisi (Fr.). 

Red hematite. 
Red iron ore. 
Scarlet ocher. 
Red chalk. 
Terra rosa. 

Ochre roth (Ger.). 
Ochre rouge (Fr.). 
f Minium 
l-Monium rubrum 

The Green Pigments 

Chrome yellow 

Cobalt green 

Extra light chrome green. 
Light chrome green. 
Medium chrome green. 
Dark chrome green, 

and a host of proprietary names. 

Zinc green. 
Rinkman's green. 
Kobalt grim (Ger.). 
Vert de cobalt (Fr.). 
Vert de zinc (Fr.). 




Terre verte 

Green oxide of chromium . 


Paris green 

Scheele's green 


Emerald oxide of chromium. 
Mittler's grim (Ger.). 
Vert panettier (Fr.). 
Vert de Guimet (Fr.). 
Vert emeraude (Fr.). 

Green earth. 
Grim erde (Ger.). 
Terre de Verone (Fr.). 
Terra verde (Ital.). 

{Chromium sesquioxide. 
Opaque oxide of chromium. 
Grimes chromoxyd (Ger.). 
Vert de chrome (Fr.). 

Green verditer. 

Green bice. 

Mountain green. 

Green carbonate of copper. 

Berg grim (Ger.). 

Vert de Montagne (Fr.). 

(Emerald green . D K, & f\ {} N/ 

JCupric aceto arsenite. 
(Schweinfurts grim (Ger.). 
IVert Paul Verone (Fr.). 

Cupric arsenite. 
Swedish green. 
Mittis green. 
Scheele's grim (Ger.). 
Vert de Scheele (Fr.). 

Basic copper acetate. 
Griinspan (Ger.). 
Vert de gris (Fr.). 
Vert de Montpelliers (Fr.). 

The Blue Pigmenti 

Ultramarine blue 

Chinese blue 

New blue. 
French blue. 
Permanent blue. 
Gmelin's blue. 
Guimet's blue. 
Lapis lazuli blau (Ger.). 
Lasurestein blau (Ger.). 
Bleu d'azur (Fr.). 
Bleu d'outremer (Fr.). 

Soluble blue. 



Prussian blue 

Cobalt blue 



Turner's blue. 
Antwerp blue. 
Berlin blue. 
Prussiate of iron. 
Chinese blue. 
Saxon blue. 
Pariser blau (Ger.). 
Bleu de Berlin (Fr.). 

fKobalt blau (Ger.). 
| Bleu de cobalt (Fr.). 
[Bleu de Thenard (Fr.). 

Cerulean blue. 
Coelin blau (Ger.). 
Blue celeste (Fr.). 

Blue verditer. 


Mountain blue. 


Berg blau (Ger.). 

Cendres bleus (Fr.). 


Royal blue. 

Dumont's blue. 


Srnalte (Ger.). 

Bleu de smalte (Fr.). 

The Brown Pigments 

Raw and burnt umber 

Raw and burnt sienna 

English umber. 
American umber. 
Levant umber. 
Turkish umber. 
Cyprus umber. 
Umbraun (Ger.). 
Terre d'ombre (Fr.). 
Terra ombra (Ital.). 

Italian sienna. 
American sienna. 
Siena erde (Ger.). 
Terre de sienne (Fr.). 
Terra di sienna (Ital.). 


Vandyke brown 

Cologne earth. 
Cassel earth. 
Collen earth. 
Cassel erde (Ger.). 
Brun de Vandyke (Fr.). 

The Black Pigments 

T JRuss (Ger.). 

Lamp black | Noir ^ fmnee (Fr }> 

Drop black. 

Coach black, and in japan or 

Ivory black J varnish a host of proprietary 

names . 

Elfenbein schwartz (Ger.). 
Noir d'ivoire (Fr.). 

Gas black /Carbon black; in oil or japan and 

I a host of proprietary names. 

[Blue black. 

Vine black. 
Charcoal black {Frankfort black. 

Frankfurter schwartz (Ger.). 
^Noir de vigne (Fr.). 

Graphite- /Black lead. 


As many of the artist's tube colors are imported from 
Germany and France, such as De La Croix, etc., it was 
thought best to give the names of most pigments in the 
languages of those countries as the names upon the 
labels are in those languages. 



PIGMENTS require various thinning liquids, so that they 
can be applied with a brush to the surfaces which they 
are to cover over. These liquids must possess binding 
qualities so that the pigments may be adhesively 
retained upon the surfaces. 

Some of the vehicles, as these liquids are called, possess 
within themselves the requisite binding properties; others 
do not, and must be rendered adhesive by the addition of 
other substances which, when mixed intimately with 
them, make them artificially adhesive as water, for 
instance, which is the vehicle used for distemper painting. 

It is highly proper and even necessary that one should 
know something of what is required from the various 
vehicles used in painting, and why one is used for certain 
purposes in preference to another. 

The one which is of the most importance in connection 
with outdoor painting, must possess some well-defined 
qualifications, as otherwise it would fail to do what is 
asked of it. It is an absolute necessity that it should 
contain within itself perfect adhesiveness, which will 
be referred to as binding quality, and that after it 
dries a smooth, waterproof surface may be obtained 
that will prevent moisture from penetrating into the 

pigment and thus affecting the surface which has been 



painted. The pigments in a powdered condition are 
helpless to protect themselves, and none contain adhesive- 
ness to hold to the side of a building. It is the vehicle 
used in the mixing of the pigment which must be relied 
upon to do the binding. 

Pigments indirectly affect the durability of the thin- 
ning liquids, and a few do so directly. 

For outside painting, which is subject to all the inclem- 
encies of the weather, heat, moisture, and frost, it is 
obvious that- the binding vehicle must possess water- 
proofing qualities of a high order. It must harden into 
a solid mass, for otherwise the paint would be rubbed off 
or washed away by rain. 

Nearly all oils are waterproof and will shed water; 
none mix readily with it; but only a few have the prop- 
erty of solidifying into a hard, waterproof mass, and the 
oils which possess this power are called fixed oils. 

There are many trees and plants whose seeds give 
drying or fixed oils, such as the walnuts, hickories, pecans, 
flax, poppies, and others. 

Flax and poppy are the only plant seeds the paint 
world need worry about. These are the two used for paint- 
ing, which can be procured at a reasonable price in a 
commercial way. The main reason for this is that oils 
can be expressed from them much more cheaply than 
from any other known plant seeds. Flaxseed is most 
abundantly raised as a field crop, and its cost is low 
compared to that of any others, not excepting poppy seed. 
These two plants possess peculiarities of their own which 
make them more desirable than any other for the making 
of a paint oil. 

Besides possessing the general characteristics which 
belong in common to all fixed oils, each of these (linseed 
and poppy seed) has its own which make them differ 


from each other and from every other of the fixed oils as 
well. These peculiarities fit each one of these oils to be 
better adapted to a certain purpose than it is to others, 
and indicates which of the two it is best to use for certain 
conditions. While poppy-seed oil is superior to linseed 
oil for some painting (as for zinc white enameling), it is 
inferior to linseed oil (as flaxseed oil is universally known 
in English-speaking countries). This and the other very 
good reason that linseed oil is by far the cheaper of the 
two, are the main causes why poppy-seed oil is so seldom 
used in general painting. There can be no question as 
to which is entitled to head the list of useful vehicles. 


Linseed oil is expressed from common cultivated flax- 
seed (Linum usitatissimum) . This is grown in all parts 
of the civilized world. It grows from almost the sub- 
arctic regions down to tropical countries, and even in 
these in elevated regions. 

The process of extracting the oil from the seed is a 
very simple one, and once every little town or hamlet 
had its crushing mill and extracting presses. To-day in 
this business as well as in that of every other commercial 
commodity, the manufacture of linseed oil is in the hands 
of large concerns, and the small plants have gone out of 
the business. 

The flaxseed is ground into meal, and this is either cold 
pressed or heated, and the oil pressed out of it by powerful 
hydraulic presses. The oil flows out, and the solid parts of 
the seed remain in what is well known as linseed-oil cake. 

The cold-pressed oil is clearest, palest, and best; but as 
by that process it cannot be made to yield nearly so much 


oil as when the flaxseed meal, has been heated, that is 
very seldom practiced now. This is a pity, for cold- 
pressed linseed oil is superior for painting purposes, and 
is clearer, more fluid, and free from much deleterious 
matter which is extracted by the hot system. 

There is still another system in use for extracting the 
oil from flaxseed, and a still greater percentage of oil is 
obtained from it than by the use of either the cold or 
hot system of pressing. This is known as the percolation 

After the grinding of the flaxseed into meal, this is 
placed into a percolating tower running through the 
several stories of the factory building. When filled with 
flaxseed meal, this is saturated with benzine or naphtha, 
and more of that subtle fluid is poured upon the meal at 
the top of the tower. This is continued until all traces 
of oil have been dissolved and removed from the meal. 
The naphtha charged with the dissolved linseed oil runs 
downward to the bottom of the tower into a pipe, which 
conducts it to an apparatus where it is heated. The 
naphtha, being a very volatile oil, is evaporated at a com- 
paratively low heat. These vapors are conducted to 
condensers, and the vapors soon condense into what they 
were originally naphtha. This is used over and over 
again; there is but very little loss of it. The remaining 
oil is entirely freed from the naphtha by this heating, if it 
is properly managed. It is claimed by some that by 
this system, certain substances are dissolved which 
would remain undisturbed by pressure, and that the loss 
injures the durability of the linseed oil for outdoor work. 
This claim, however, may not be well founded, and may 
be due to prejudice or the self-interest of concerns that 
press oil. Some again claim that it is better. However, 
so many from all parts of the country claim differently, 


that one should be slow in making the change from one 
to the other. Experiment with them side by side under 
varied conditions. This system has some good points in 
it. Naphtha does not dissolve moisture, and linseed oil 
thus made is as nearly free from it as it is possible 
for it to be, and this cannot be said of the heat- 
expressed oils. The real difference between the pressed 
oil obtained by heat and the percolated oil, cannot 
be so great as to deter any one from using either, but 
the chances are that the old-fashioned cold-pressed oil is 
the best. 

Linseed oil made by whatever system, may vary a 
good deal in its quality from other causes than those 
pertaining to the system of extraction. It varies greatly 
accordingly as it is made from good or from bad flax- 
seed. That made from East Indies, imported flaxseed 
(better known as Calcutta seed, from the city from which 
it comes) is usually better than that obtained from Ameri- 
can seed. Its product, sold as Calcutta-seed oil, is usually 
freer from moisture than that which is made from flax- 
seed of American or Russian origin. Varnish men who 
ought to be good judges of quality in linseed oil, prefer 
it to all others, in the preparation of varnishes, as they 
must have a dry oil, containing but little moisture. 
American flaxseed, when properly harvested, is as good 
as any in the world but there is the trouble, it is not 
harvested properly. In America, flaxseed is harvested by 
machinery, the same as wheat. Owing to the ease with 
which it shells out when the sickle strikes the plant, the 
cutting cannot be delayed until the seed is ripe, as it 
would all shell out and fall to the ground; so the crop is 
cut down before it is ripe, just as the seed begins to change 
from the dough state and begins to harden. In that 
ccndition, it is saved without shelling but it is far from 


being fully ripe. In the East Indies, where labor is very 
cheap, it is pulled by hand, when the proper times comes, 
and thus they are able to secure it in the very best con- 
dition. This is impossible in America, hence American 
seed does not equal it. 

So with poor seed to start with, and a larger quantity 
of oil expressed out of it than in the good old days of 
cold presses, there can be no wonder at the complaints 
that linseed oil does not wear as well to-day as it did in 
old times. 

For good work, it would pay to use cold-pressed oil, 
even at an expense of several cents more per gallon. It 
would pay architects to specify it in their contracts, and 
property owners should be willing to foot the slight 
increase it would make in their painting bill, if they 
could only be made sure that they were getting it after 
specifying it and paying for it. But quien sdbe? 

Linseed oil, after it has been pressed, should be tanked 
for three or four months to allow it to deposit some of 
the foreign matter pressed out of the seed with the oil, 
and with which it is more or less charged. This will 
settle to the bottom of the tanks, and is called linseed-oil 
foots. It will do so naturally, if only time enough be given 
but it is not allowed. 

Manufacturers being human (in some ways) do not take 
kindly to the idea of having vast sums of money tied up 
for several months in a tank. They want to turn that 
money over and over before the oil would be fit to sell in 
the natural way it has of doing this work, so they arti- 
ficially hasten this precipitation. 

There are two ways of doing this; one is known as the 
alkaline process. As this is the poorer of the two, no 
time will be wasted upon it. The other is by trituration 
with sulphuric acid. 


Sulphuric acid does not affect linseed oil injuriously, and 
it acts only upon the impurities which precipitate rapidly. 
The oil is then well washed with water by trituration 
until it is free from traces of acid, and is then considered 
fit for use. Varnish manufacturers who are most careful 
in the purchase of linseed oil usually still further refine the 
oil by repeated agitation of it with sulphuric acid; and the 
grinders of fine pigments requiring refined oil, use it also 
for the same purpose. With both of these sets of men, 
clearness and limpidity are of the first importance; but 
painters of the old school who can remember the time 
when they went to the town mill and bought cold-pressed 
oil settled in the old-fashioned way, and used it to mix 
their pigments with, claim that three coats of such oil 
and white lead would wear for years before it would com- 
mence to chalk. Now a like number of coats prepared in 
the old way, but with oil such as it now is, will appear as 
so much whitewash in the same number of years. It 
will require something else besides plausible talk to make 
them believe that the oil they buy to-day is half as good 
as the old-fashioned, cold-pressed, naturally settled oil 
made from pulled flax which it was possible for them to 
buy some seventy years ago. 

Chemistry of Linseed Oil 

Linseed oil is a complex product, and its drying or 
solidifying is due to its becoming oxidized. Condit says: 
"To understand the action that occurs when oil dries, 
we must know the composition of it. Linseed oil is 
composed of linolein, palmittin, and olein. To non- 
chemists, these words are mere names; but let us designate 
linolein by A, palmittin by B, and olein by C; now A the 
first is composed of linoleic acid and glycerine ether, 
B of palmitic acid and glycerine ether, and C of oleic acid 


and glycerine ether. Glycerine ether is the base to 
which the other constituents are attached. Looking upon 
glycerine as D, we may represent the other constituents 
as allotted in this manner: 




Chemically considered, these salts (A, B, and C) are sus- 
ceptible of parting with their base glycerine (D) in favor 
of some base possessing a stronger affinity for oily acids." 

The Drying of Linseed Oil 

"This kind of decomposition in point of fact really 
takes place under proper conditions, and the resulting 
soap varies in its nature according to the base employed. 
Take an instance: Suppose you have rubbed some linseed 
oil on a sheet of glass or china (I mention these substances 
to preclude the idea of the absorbance of any part of the 
oil which would take place if wood, etc., were used) and 
it has sufficiently dried not to become sticky, and that 
when in that condition you wash it with a solution of soda 
in water, the soda dissolves the glycerine to unite with 
the oily acids (linoleic, palmitic, and oleic) and forms a 
soap, leaving the glycerine free. In other words, using 
the above formula: A, B, and C unite with the soda (or 
other alkali) and leave D a free agent. Now this D is 
soluble in water, consequently the soap which is formed 
(by the union of A, B, and C with the alkali) is also dis- 
solved. This soap, by the way, is not like the ordinary 
hand soap, but is a frothy matter that gathers on the 
glass. Hence, by washing the oil with sufficient soda and 
water, every trace of oil is carried away from the glass." 

The above explains what would take place if the oil 
were left in an undried state, and to some extent what does 


take place when linseed oil is washed over with alkalies 
even when dry. It is the same action which takes place 
when the alkaline removers take off paint; but to return 
and find out how oil dries, Condit further says: 

" In speaking of the drying of linseed oil merely a 
change from the liquid to the solid state is meant. Now 
the constituents of the four components of linseed oil 
consist of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon in varying pro- 
portions; that is, linoleiu A, palmittin B, and olein C are all 
made up of the above elements, differing in proportion 
just as the letters A, B, and C are made up of straight lines 
and curves, differing, however, from each other in the 

"Now in the change from the fluid to the solid con- 
dition, i.e., the drying process, oils suffer a slight loss of 
carbon and oxygen, but they gain about one tenth of 
their own weight in oxygen. It is by this union of oxygen 
with the component of linseed oil that they dry or harden. 
Put them out of the influence of this element and they 
remain fluid. Slow-drying oils lose least in weight; they 
contain more of the non-drying fats, and for that reason 
seem to gain more in weight (in time)." 

The process of drying, while it is very simple, in theory 
at least, is most intricate, and would require too many 
explanations to follow it up in all its details, so it 
cannot be given here as fully as some might wish. To 
properly handle the subject would require a large 
volume, therefore a resume is given below in short 
paragraphs, which contains the gist of the process; it, too, 
is from Condit : 

" 1. Linseed oil is composed of linolein drying oil, 80 
parts; palmittin and olein non-drying oils, 20 parts, of 
which 8 parts are glycerine ether which flies away in the 
process of drying. 


"2. Pure oil will not dry in darkness; and the greater 
the light, the more vigorous the drying. 

"3. Heat is also a powerful drier of oil; oils heated 
for a short time continue to dry more rapidly for a long 
time after the heating. 

"4. Drying appears to be the loss of glycerine ether 
and the gain of oxygen from the air, the glycerine appear- 
ing to be loosened from the oil acid as the oxygen unites 
with the oil, the result of the drying being a light varnish. 

"5. Some of the non-drying oil acid also flies away in 
the drying, especially under the influence of direct sun- 
light or when the oil is heated; 100 parts of oil become 
111 parts (more or less) heated; it loses 3 parts (more 
or less); net gain 8 parts. 

"6. Most of the glycerine ether which is linked with 
the oil flies away in the drying. 

"7. When oxygen combines with a drying oil that 
is, a fixed oil caoutchou or gluten is produced, which 
in reality is the hard, horny, elastic body that renders it 
'dry.' It is the ' skin' that forms on top of a pot of paint 
when it has been left undisturbed for some time. 

"8. The drying of oils appears to depend upon the 
presence of oxygen, which, by an incipient combustion 
of hydrogenous oils, fixes them. Whatever contributes 
oxygen is a drier, as is the case with pure air, sunshine, 
etc. So also the perfect oxides of metals, including even 
pure earths and alkalies in due proportion, dry oils; the 
best are those which contain oxygen in excess, such as 
litharge, sugar of lead, minium or red lead, the oxides of 
manganese, sulphate of zinc, white copperas and verdigris." 

Properties and Uses 

Raw linseed oil is penetrating and elastic, and after its 
oxidation or drying it remains as a waterproof rubber- 


like substance, holding firmly whatever pigment it has 
been mixed with. Some pigments act chemically upon 
it, as, for instance, the lead salts, which have the property 
of turning it into a soap, which, however, is not a readily 
soluble one (after drying at least); the lead oxides are 
noted for this property, as red lead and litharge. Not- 
withstanding that a great deal has been said as to the 
beneficial influence exerted by the totally inert pigments 
which in a measure is true it is equally true that 
some very active ones, combining chemically with lin- 
seed oil, exert a very good influence over it, as occurs when 
red lead and linseed oil are combined, the resulting 
linoleate soap being, when dry, insoluble in water. It 
is not acted upon injuriously by that element, which is 
most destructive to linseed oil ordinarily. This, how- 
ever, is not true of all active pigments, some of them 
exerting baneful influences upon linseed oil as they com- 
bine with it to form soluble soaps. Pigments containing 
lime in a caustic form are of that character. 

The inert pigments naturally do not exert any influ- 
ence upon it one way or another, and when linseed oil 
has been mixed with them no chemical action takes 
place; the drying and longevity of the oil remain the 
same, generally speaking, as if the pigments had not 
been added. 

The above statement was purposely qualified by saying 
generally speaking, because in one way they do exert an 
influence which, while it is not chemical, is a mechanical 
one, in this way: Some pigments are very heavy and have 
no affinity for oil, and naturally take up but little when 
mixing them into a paint; others again are very light 
and take up large quantities. It is reasonable to suppose 
then that the pigment which has not taken up much oil 
will be a drag upon the oil, as a little of it is scattered over 


a great quantity of pigment atoms, so that but an infin- 
itesimal portion has to perform a duty that is above 
its strength, and so it is. Such pigments cannot be 
depended upon for outdoor work. 

On the other hand, the pigment which holds up large 
quantities of oil mechanically prolongs its life. 

Again, there is a class of pigments containing non- 
drying elements in their composition, which prevent the 
oil from drying, such, for instance, as uncalcined lamp 
black, vandyke brown, etc. These cannot be safely used 
without first preparing the oil, so -that it shall contain 
sufficient drying energy to overcome their deficiencies. 
Artificial driers must be added to the oil to hasten its 
drying. Otherwise, these pigments exert a good influ- 
ence upon the longevity of the oil, as they take up so 
much of it. 

Linseed oil continues to absorb oxygen after, seem- 
ingly, it is as dry as it is possible for it to be, or long after 
it has ceased to feel tacky to the touch. The fact is that 
when it has reached that stage where no further oxida- 
tion takes place then its downward grade of decay may 
be said to have commenced. 

Linseed oil, while it may not be as good as it was fifty 
years ago, when it was all cold pressed, is usually found 
pure, such as it is. It is, of course, possible for some of 
the dealers to practice the adulteration of it, but it is 
seldom that that occurs. Jobbers, in the past (a few of 
them), who did not care for reputation, did mix oils, but 
now such a thing is next to impossible. What with 
nearly every state having special laws, which no one 
would take any risk of infringing, and behind these Uncle 
Sam with his own strict laws to prevent fraud the 
practice of adulterating linseed oil has about become 


Linseed oils are, however, imitated; but the imitations 
are sold as such. There can be no harm come of it, for 
no one is cheated. If a painter is foolish enough to 
believe all the stuff that smooth-tongued strangers tell 
him regarding the merits of nonpareil, indestructible 
enamelling liquid, in the way of throwing linseed oil in 
the shade, and supplanting it everywhere, he has a perfect 
right to believe and to give his money away for it. The 
law recognizes him as a free agent and will not forcibly 
keep him from flinging cash in the river, if he so wills. 
It takes money to buy experience, and with some men 
it only seems to last until the next deceiver comes around 
with another bait 10 cents a gallon below the market 
on linseed oil! 

Barnum said: "For every fool that dies, two are born." 
It must be true, or the concerns manufacturing dope oil 
could not flourish as they do. 

Impurities, and Tests for Them 

It is a very hard matter to determine impurities in 
linseed oil, and nothing short of an analysis made by an 
expert chemist used to that sort of work will be of any 
value. This work is intricate and expensive. But 
anyone can readily determine to his own satisfaction 
whether linseed oil is adulterated or not. At least, 
raw linseed oil can be so tested, but not the boiled. 
There is no test that one can make for himself that will 
do .for that. 

There are several tests. One, the most usual, is the 
nitric acid test. Although it is a simple one to make, it 
is apt to lead many into error, if they are unused to 
testing oils. To make the test: Take a bottle, or any 
other glass vessel, pour into it about equal parts of raw 
oil and nitric acid one ounce of each is enough for the 


purpose. Shake the bottle, so as to mix the oil and acid 
well together, and put it away to rest for a quarter of an 
hour. If the oil is pure, the nitric acid will settle at the 
bottom of the bottle, where it forms a distinct layer 
below the oil which floats on top. The nitric acid in a 
well-made oil will be found clear, but tinged to a light 
straw, from coloring matter extracted from the oil during 
the shaking; the oil itself in the upper layer will be- found 
to have turned to a brownish color, but of a clear tone. 
If adulterated, the oil will be from dark brown to black 
and muddy, lumpy or "livered," according to the nature 
of the adulterant. The acid will be brownish, and often 
its limpidity even will be impaired; but not always so, 
this depending also upon the nature of the adulterating 
oils. It is impossible thus to determine the adulterant 
that requires a chemical analysis. 

Then there is the specific gravity test, which is always 
satisfactory, as it is a very hard matter to adulterate oils 
so that this will not be greatly changed. It requires 
apparatus to make this test, but that is not very expen- 
sive: a suitable hydrometer, one that is adapted to oils 
or fats, with a thermometer, are all that will be needed. 
The oil should be poured into a vessel, which must be 
considerably deeper and wider than the hydrometer, 
which is dropped into it, and which must float clear of 
the sides and the bottom of the oil receptacle. The 
specific gravity of linseed oil is, say, 0.932 at 60 F. Now 
if the hydrometer is placed in the oil and the top of the 
bulb indicates .928 or .934, if the temperature of the oil is 
either above or below 60 F., a correction must be made 
for that, as the oil will show a lighter gravity if below the 
standard temperature and heavier if above. Deduct or 
add .00035 for each degree of variation in temperature 
either above or below the standard, and, if the oil is pure, 


the total ought to be 0.932. If it varies very much, the 
oil is adulterated. 

Then there is the flash test, but this is rather com- 
plicated and requires more apparatus to determine cor- 
rectly. The two above-mentioned tests will be sufficient. 
Besides, the nose and the eye can be made nearly as 
efficient as any, at least for certain kinds of adulterants. 
Linseed oil has a smell all its own, and neutral oils can be 
readily detected by their odor with the nose, they have 
also a bluish fluorescent tone that the eye can readily 
note, so that, with the help of these organs, a double test 
can be made, and one or the other will be apt to uncover 
the adulteration. The nose will also detect animal or 
fish oils, which may be used in adulterating; however, the 
chances are that it will be hard to find any as long as they 
stay above the cost of linseed oil. 


As it has already been stated the heating of linseed 
oil renders it more drying. When it is boiled at a great 
heat along with some of the oxides of lead or manganese 
it is rendered thereby still more drying. 

For mixing with some of the non-drying pigments, 
its use is imperatively demanded, at least for the 
grinding of them into pastes. Boiled oil is less 
elastic than raw oil, and, being darker, it tinges 
the white pigments and some of the light tints to 
an undesirable degree. It is also much less elastic 
than raw oil and less penetrating, therefore it should 
never be used for priming purposes. It partakes of the 
nature of a varnish, and dries upon the surface with but 
little penetration. 

It is therefore better adapted for interior painting than 
it is for that of outside work. Its use is indicated, how- 


ever, for many purposes where penetration and elasticity 
are not of prime importance. 


Under the heading of raw oil, it was said that all tests 
which were indicated for that were useless when applied 
to boiled oil, and so they are. It requires an expensive 
chemical analysis. Unless, of course, that the adulterat- 
ing has been so carelessly done that the nose and eye can 
be utilized to ferret it out, as is the case when neutral 
oils have been added. 

The most frequent adulteration, if adulteration it be, 
is in many dealers taking, say, one barrel of raw linseed 
oil pouring the contents of it into the boiled oil tank and 
adding from five to ten gallons of some cheap benzine 
manganese dryer. Boiled oil thus prepared is called 
bung hole boiled oil. It is simply raw oil with probably 
a bigger dose of liquid drier than would have been the 
case if the painter had added it himself. 


Properties and Uses 

As the name implies, this excellent paint oil is produced 
from the seed of the poppy plant opium poppy, or 
papaver somniferum. It is nearly colorless and very 
clear, so these qualities render it of great value for the 
mixing of white pigments or for that of tender 
light tints. For China finish or interior enameling, 
for instance, it is invaluable. In this connection 
it should be used with zinc white in preference to 
linseed oil, which has the property of darkening the 
more quickly that it is shut away from the sun's 
rays. This defect does not belong to poppy seed oil. 


Zinc white of good quality is ground in it to a paste 
form, and so labeled when offered for sale. 

Poppy seed oil is a slow drier, so it requires a longer 
time for paint mixed with it to become dry. Its binding 
properties are no better than are those of linseed oil 
if as good. Its high cost compared to that of linseed oil 
will always prevent its use. It is, therefore, but for 
expensive enameling that its use is ever resorted to by 
the general painter and decorator. Artists, of course, can 
afford to use it, ad libitum, in the very small quantities 
they require. 


VEHICLES (Continued) 


Spirits of Turpentine 

IN defining the word vehicle, it was stated that it was 
a liquid medium with which pigments were mixed and 
properly thinned, so that they could be spread, by paint- 
ing with a brush, over the surfaces to which the painter 
wished to apply them; that, through their agency, the 
pigments were made steadfast to these surfaces by those 
adhering or binding qualities of the vehicles, either pos- 
sessed inherently within themselves, or added to them by 
the introduction and admixture of binding agents, as 
glue or gum arabic, etc., for water; the volatile oils 
serve another purpose in painting. 

Their binding qualities are little better than water. 
This can readily be inferred from the fact that they 
evaporate entirely away, so that pigments mixed with 
them alone would have about the same chance of remain- 
ing upon outside surfaces as they would have if they were 
mixed with water instead till the next hard rain came, 
which would wash them away; or some boy, even, without 
the rains, could rub the painting off with his bare hand. 

The chief use of volatile oils in painting is for the pur- 
pose of rectifying some defects in the fixed oils that are 
used as binding vehicles in exterior painting, and for 
what is called flatting in interior work. 



As adjuncts to linseed or poppy seed oils, they possess 
the property of intimately mixing with them, and of ren- 
dering them more fluid (they lessen their viscosity) and 
also make the fixed oil set quicker. This enables the 
painter to put on a heavier coat of pigment with less 
linseed oil than would be possible without the use of the 
volatile oils. 

For flatting purposes they are used as the main vehicle, 
A sufficient quantity of linseed oil must be used to bind 
the pigment. It requires little to accomplish that purpose, 
so that finishing coats of flatting are nearly entirely of 
volatile oil. As flatting is usually done over a gloss 
coat one containing considerable linseed oil unless 
the flatting is delayed until the gloss coat has dried hard, 
there will be enough tack in that to hold the flatting 
thinned almost entirely with volatile oil. If, however, 
one waits till it has thoroughly hardened, a small quantity 
of linseed oil must be added to the flatting coat. 

Spirits of Turpentine 

Spirits of turpentine is the commercial term used in 
the United States to designate what the painter calls 
turps at the shop. In England, it is best known as oil 
of turpentine, which it really is. Both names refer to the 
same liquid. 

It is obtained from several species of pines. That 
which has been so abundantly produced in America is 
derived entirely from the longleaf yellow pine of the tide- 
water section of the Southern States adjoining the 
Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. It is produced on a 
large scale by scarifying the trees and collecting the 
exuding gum which gathers at the wounds. This gum is 
a highly odoriferous semi-solid resin. This is gathered 
and hauled away to refining works, where it is distilled. 


The volatile vapors are cooled and condensed into the 
spirits of turpentine, while the solid parts remain as 
rosin of many grades of goodness, according as it is 
very light or dark colored the whitest being the most 

Spirits of turpentine is the most valuable of the volatile 
oils used by the painter. Its odor, while it is strong and 
penetrating, is far from being disagreeable, and unless it 
is used during hot weather in a close room it is not 
unhealthy as are those oils derived from petroleum 

Spirits of turpentine acts promptly upon the urinary 
organs, and it is strongly diuretic in action. Some men 
seem to be much more readily affected by it than others 
some are so to the extent that they cannot endure to 
work with it long at a time; others again have worked 
with it daily for years without being detrimentally 
affected by it. Persons who are troubled with kidney 
diseases should be careful in its continued use. It is 
not only absorbed by direct contact through the pores 
of the skin, but also by the inhaling of its vapors, which 
soon permeate the atmosphere of a room where it is used, 
and where, as in flatting, little outside air is allowed to 
enter, and then it is inhaled at every breath in large 


Properties and Uses 

For the purposes of painting, these two volatile oils 
may be treated together. Both are so nearly the same 
in composition, working qualities and odor, that they 
may be regarded as the one thinning vehicle in paint 
mixing. They are both derived from the distillation of 
petroleum, and in early days were in very bad repute. 


They possess the properties ascribed to the volatile 
oils useful in paint mixing, and described under the 
heading of Spirits of Turpentine. They do not, any more 
than turpentine, possess any binding properties. As 
diluents of linseed oil, they are as good as and in some re- 
spects better than, spirits of turpentine, and in one instance 
they are not so good. 

They are better, in that it takes less to accomplish the 
purpose for which they are used (the only legitimate use 
that can be made of volatile oils in paint), that of making 
a paint more liquid spreading better. 

But, phew! The smell! That is where the inferiority 
comes in. Their odor is repugnant to many persons, and 
to a few it is equal to a dose of lobelia or tartar emetic. 
They, too, act upon the kidneys and urinary organs, but 
not in such a marked manner as spirits of turpentine, 
and in addition they more than tax the stomach. For 
outside painting, they are better than turpentine, for the 
reason, already given, that it takes less to dilute the paint, 
so that more oil can be used and applied, and consequently 
the paint will not flat out so quick. It evaporates some- 
what more quickly and sets the paint in a shorter time 
another advantage. 

The better grades of these oils are treated with a view 
to removing the disagreeable smell inherent in them, and 
while thus treated they do not smell nearly as bad as 
those which have not been deodorized; there is room for 
vast improvement in this respect. There is hope enter- 
tained of this. Spirits of turpentine is becoming scarcer 
and higher every day, and, at the rate that the Southern 
forests are disappearing under the ax of the lumberman, 
it is only a question of a few years when the quantity of 
it obtainable will be so small and its price will have soared 
so high that it cannot possibly be employed, as it was by 


the general painter. In quantity it will have dwindled 
down to where there will scarcely be enough of it left to 
supply the demand of the pharmacists of the world, who 
all look to the United States for their main supply. 

When that time arrives, and it is plainly in sight now, 
willy-nilly, naphtha and benzine must ta"ke its place. 
If completely deodorized, there will be no loss at best, 
one might as well become accustomed to their use now; 
and artists, decorators, and others might as well quit 
shedding tears and accept the inevitable. 

Aside from their uses as diluents, the volatile oils are 
powerful solvents of certain gums and resins of both 
hard and soft composition. Varnish manufacturers have 
been most liberal purchasers and users of them for that 
purpose, and increase each year, as the phenomenal 
increase in their output necessarily demands more and 


VEHICLES (Continued) 

Varnishes, Japans, Alcoholic Solutions of Shellac, etc. 

General Remarks 

UNDER the general name of varnishes, many differently 
constituted liquids are to be found. Naturally, 
according as to how these are composed and com- 
pounded, they vary in their characteristics, each being 
better adapted than are the others for some particular 
line of usefulness. The term varnish seems applicable 
to any liquid holding gums or gum-resins in solution, 
which upon the loss of its volatile parts, and upon 
the oxidation and hardening of its fixed oil and 
gum-resins, shows a gloss upon surfaces over which they 
are applied. 

Some liquids will make a varnish (when properly 
treated) upon drying as linseed oil will, after it has 
been heated at a high heat but the gloss is greatly 
improved by the addition of gum-resins of various 

In point of fact, no varnishes are made thus, and all may 
be said to be composed chiefly of gum-resins; the liquids 
used as solvents for these may be fixed oils, volatile oils 
or various mixtures of those two, or it may be alcohol as in 
the so-called spirit varnishes. 



Properties and Uses 

Varnishes aside from the uses for which they are 
principally adapted, i.e., the finishing of surfaces with 
a glossy coating, over paint put on in the ordinary way, 
in graining, or over car, coach or carriage work, or over 
the natural wood itself, as in hard-wood finishing, or in 
enameling or japanning they are also used as a vehicle 
for the direct application of pigments. Enamel painting 
depends chiefly upon their use as pigment vehicles. 
Iron bed manufacturers, bicycle factories and japanning 
works, use them as vehicles, and they are true vehicles 
in every sense of the word, with this difference, that 
the fixed oils and their volatile adjuncts, are so of their 
own selves while varnishes are not, but become so by 
the nature of their component elements, which, as was 
seen, are chiefly of those two classes of vehicles plus the 
gum-resins which also act as binders. 

The painting must necessarily partake of the nature of 
its thinning varnish vehicle, some kinds of painting 
requiring certain varieties of varnish for thinners, and 
others, again, requiring different ones. 

The varnishes which contain linseed oil as their principal 
solvent and which have hard gums in their composition 
such as gum copal are slow driers, but are elastic, 
and in some degree resist the elements. Such are desig- 
nated for outdoor or exposed conditions. 

Then for inside work, varnishes whose main solvent is 
turpentine or the petroleum volatile oils plus some lin- 
seed oil for binder, will be preferably used for inside work, 
as they dry hard, and being protected from atmospheric 
changes and moisture they answer fairly well for the 
purpose where hurry and expense are to be closely 


It is not intended in this work to give varnishes such 
attention and notice as would be expected in a treatise 
upon coach painting, for instance, as the only relation 
in which they are of any interest in connection 
with a book upon pigments is as to their use as vehicles 
of them. As vehicles, their glossy properties are 
secondary, in fact, of no interest whatever even to the 
coach painter, with the exception of the enamelers, who 
do not varnish over their wares afterward. 

To resume, then, in a few words their values as 
vehicles, the following advice is given: For per- 
manent outdoor work, select some varnish made 
from hard gum resin dissolved in linseed oil; mainly 
of this description will be found the wearing body 
varnishes of the carriage trade, and some of the better 
carriage parts varnishes, and the so-called spar varnishes 
or outside varnishes, which are made to withstand 
hardships. Some few of the best grades of rubbing 
varnishes are also of this order. 

For work that is not exposed, the better grades 
of the so-called inside varnishes are made from 
less expensive gum resins, and all of softer texture 
with a larger proportion of volatile oils, and will 
answer fairly well. There is a wide range between 
the poorest and the best, and one must be governed 
by the circumstances when selecting for certain 

Some manufacturers list varnishes especially prepared 
for mixing with colors. However, if one has used a cer- 
tain quality of varnish with good results, he should 
hesitate to continue its use, as he is likely to have 
some trouble at first with even a good new one with which 
he is unacquainted. 



Properties and Uses 

It is a very hard matter to give a true definition of 
what is really meant by the term japan, notwithstanding 
the daily use of it in the paint shop. 

It is a varnish, and should be classed as such and with 
them. As popularly known and understood by many 
painters, it means to them simply a liquid drier. To the 
carriage trade and to the color grinders, it means a vehicle 
for the application of paint and for the grinding of it in ; 
and to the japanners and to the enamelers, a baking 
varnish. In the last relation, it certainly is a varnish. 

It is needless to say that japans vary as much in their 
composition as they do in their qualities, according to the 
formulas under which they have been made, and these 
are legion. 

They can be divided into three classes. The first, which 
the house painters chiefly use are liquid driers, and con- 
sist principally of a solvent and some oxide of manganese. 
These are not varnishes in any sense of that word. 

The second class, which are for grinding and applying 
coach colors, are properly varnishes, and of such are the 
gold sizes and coach japans, and in reality should be 
classed among the medium grades of varnishes. They 
make good vehicles for the purpose for which they are 
used. A great variety of good, bad, and indifferent coach 
japans are made, and the price paid for them is not always 
an indication of their quality. 


The varieties used in baking by enamelers are made 
so as to stand that operation. They evaporate under 
heat, and soften sufficiently to permit the coating of paint 


to level up free from brush marks and then dry with a full 
gloss. There can be no doubt as to the character of 
these nor of the japans used by the radiator men. 
According to the gums entering in their composition, they 
are either good or bad. Manufacturers of bicycles and 
enameled iron bedsteads, etc., usually immerse all their 
commodities in a dipping tank and stand them on inclined 
drying boards, where the surplus color runs off, instead 
of hand-brushing the color. 

These varnishes are probably called japan from the 
fact that all the small articles of bric-a-brac found on 
the market have a smooth finish, usually obtained by 
what is known as japanning, by baking in ovens specially 
constructed for the purpose. These articles are made to 
imitate in their finish the smooth lacquering put on the 
same class of ware imported from Japan and China. 
The name, no doubt, was transferred and applied from 
the country to the finish, and means that here. In so 
far it is easy enough to understand how such varnishes 
can be called Japan, but why the same name is used by 
the trade for mixing varnishes of the coach painter or 
the liquid drier of the house painter is one of the conun- 
drums which life is too short to unravel. 


Properties and Uses 

Shellac varnish as it is sometimes called, or simply 
shellac, which to many means the same thing, and spirits 
shellac, as it is known in the British Isles, are all one and 
the same thing. It is simply shellac, either the orange 
or the white, dissolved in alcohol. 

It makes a fair vehicle for pigments, where speed and 
quick drying are imperatively demanded. This varnish, 


owing to the volatility of its solvent, alcohol, sets very 
quickly, in a few minutes, and in a few more it is dry 
and so hard that the painting done with it cannot be 
brushed over without marring it. 

Owing to its setting so quickly, it is very hard to apply 
properly, and it requires an expert to handle it success- 
fully. Its use must be confined to hurried work, and 
for that it has no equal. 

The above concludes the list of vehicles used in paint- 
ing, at least those worthy of consideration. 

There is a possibility of some others becoming very 
useful at some future time, but their cost is now too great 
to really entitle them to notice. Of this class is China 
wood oil or Tung oil, which is said to possess very good 
qualities. Should it be possible to acclimatize it here, 
and its cost brought somewhere near that of linseed oil, 
it might prove a dangerous rival; but it has never been 
given the proper tests for endurance, etc., which would 
warrant any one forming more than conjectural opinions 
concerning its possibilities. 

Correctives are used with vehicles, as was intimated; 
and, again, some solids are binders to add to vehicles con- 
taining no binding properties. The next chapter will be 
devoted to these. 



Properties and Uses 

WAXES are not used as vehicles in painting, as are the 
liquid vehicles, owing to their property of solidifying in 
a few moments, at ordinary temperatures, as that makes 
it impossible to melt them, mix them with pigments, and 
apply the paint so mixed before it would have cooled and 
become so hard that nothing could be done with them in 
the ordinary way. 

Encaustic painting, however, was known and prac- 
ticed long before the present system of painting was so 
much as dreamed of. The ancient civilizations made use 
of it freely, and some of the work of their now unknown 
artists is occasionally found in as fresh and well-preserved 
a condition as when it was first applied centuries ago. 

There is still some encaustic work done, but in an 
amateurish way, as artists much prefer the use of linseed 
oil to the slow and difficult method of applying paint by 
the encaustic process. 

In encaustic painting the colors are first put on with 
a liquid, water will answer as well as any, and after- 
ward the wax (when it has been melted by heat) is flowed 
over it. A flat, hot iron is used on it to obtain a per- 
fectly level surface. The finish is certainly very pleasing; 
and the colors, being hermetically sealed from contact 



with air, are not injuriously acted upon. It stands to 
reason that for the finishing of interiors at least such 
work must be permanent. 

Beeswax was probably the form of wax used in the 
encaustic painting of the ancients, although they were 
also acquainted with the waxes derived from vegetable 

Beeswax is used for many purposes by the house 
painter, in fact, all forms of waxes are, not so much 
as a vehicle as it is for the finishing of floors or wood- 
work, and large quantities of it are annually consumed by 
the paint trade. 

As it comes from the melting pots', it usually is of 
yellow, but often is found of a brownish tone; tlje latter 
being impure, it must be rectified and bleached before it 
is fit for the best work. The process of bleaching, also 
raises its melting-point and hardens it. 

Beeswax is a vegetable product gathered by bees from 
plants, and is not an animal production as some errone- 
.ously suppose it to be. It is permanent for interior 
work, but when exposed to the inclemencies of the 
weather upon the outside, it is partially destroyed by 



Many plants produce wax, and in South America, 
especially in Brazil, it is gathered from the leaves of 
Copernica cerifera, where it occurs in thin sheets. It is 
a regular article of commerce in that country. In China 
and the Thibet there is an extensive trade done in vege- 
table wax. Its melting-point is high, 185 F. But for 
its limited quantity and consequent high price, it would 

WAXES 219 

be more extensively used here; it makes a hard wax. 
Vegetable wax is used for all purposes indicated under 
the heading of beeswax. 



Paraffin waxes are the' product of petroleum distillation 
and vary very much. Most of them have such a low 
melting-point as to unfit them for encaustic painting or 
any other purpose of the painter. Their melting-point 
ranges from 105 to 180 F. The very highest qualities 
of them are very good, and in one respect at least render 
them superior to the vegetable waxes in that they are 
not so readily acted upon by the volatile oils, nor will they 
mix with them as those do. Such will consequently 
make excellent binders for pigments for encaustic work 
or for the waxing of floors where their hardness is greatly 
in their favor. It is also useful to add to such very heavy 
pigments as quicksilver vermilion, as it helps to prevent 
the separation and precipitation of that pigment when 
mixed in linseed or poppy-seed oils, but small quantities 
of it should be used for such a purpose. 

While encaustic painting is commonly done by using 
the wax as a covering for the colors previously applied, 
and not as the vehicle to convey them to the work, yet 
there have been some very fine pictures painted where 
it was used as the vehicle for the mixing of the pigment 
and of its application. This requires great skill, and is 
not likely to ever become popular, as both the work itself 
must be kept warm as well as the vessels containing 
the melted wax and pigment. 



General Remarks 

THE substances whose description is attempted in this 
chapter are not vehicles themselves, being solid sub- 
stances, but are adjuncts to liquid vehicles which do not 
possess any binding properties within themselves capable 
of fastening the pigments for the application of which 
they serve as a medium to surfaces and which other- 
wise through their lack of adhesiveness would fall down, 
wash away, or blow off from them upon on the least 

In distemper painting, for instance, water is the vehicle 
used, and no arguments are necessary to show that paint 
applied with it would have absolutely nothing to hold 
it after the water had evaporated. These binding sub- 
stances are added to hold the pigments to their place, and 
they become parts of the paint itself after the vehicle has 

Among the agents which are principally used for this 
purpose, glue easily holds first place, not that it is the best 
of all, but because it is the most economical as well as 
the handiest of any on the list. It is by long odds the 
one binding substance which is most universally used, 
and the quantity annually employed for the purpose is 
something enormous. 



It is not only employed by painters in the preparation 
at the home shop of distemper colors, but the numerous 
concerns which have sprung up within the past twenty- 
five years with ready-prepared water paints or kalsomines 
or anti-kalsomines of all sorts, prepared from gypsum, 
etc., which are all ready for use by the simple addition 
of either hot or cold water, these use incredible quan- 
tities of it in the compounding of said ready-prepared 
distemper paints. This preparation of wall water-paints 
has grown up into a great industry and is extended every 
year, and they are found for sale in every general store in 
the land. They are uniform, handy to use, and usually give 
better satisfaction than that which the average painter 
is able to prepare for himself. The above is not said in 
order to discourage any one from mixing his own com- 
pounds, but as a statement of fact. There is no doubt 
but that any intelligent painter can mix a batch of dis- 
temper colors just as they ought to be; but although 
this is simply done, it must be done just right. In the 
hurry, which is usually the condition existing during the 
busy season of the spring, trifles are forgotten or dis- 
carded for want of time. Many a painter who has been 
too busy to properly prepare a batch of distemper color 
to be sent out on a job, sees it go out of the shop door 
with misgivings as to its future. Many an eyesore and 
heartache might have been avoided by the use of a well- 
prepared water paint which could have been sent out to 
a job without loss of time and saved a good bit of worry. 

Properties and Uses 

Glue is an animal product, obtained by the boiling of 
hoofs, bones, cartilaginous parts of carcasses, hides, hide 
trimmings from the tanneries, and even parts of flesh. 
If the treatment is done at a temperature above the 


ordinary boiling heat, the process is greatly hastened. 
The various processes and manipulations are all simple 
and well known, but too lengthy to give, and can be 
summarized thus: Glue is the residue which remains by 
boiling the animal parts referred to and afterward drying 
the same when it has been cleansed of impurities by 
various processes of clarification, etc. 

Its binding properties are due to two distinct yet 
similar compounds, gelatin and chondrin. The chemical 
composition of those bodies is carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, 
and oxygen in various combinations. Both substances 
are entirely soluble in hot water and are coagulated by 
tannin. Cold will also coagulate them, hence the well- 
known property which is exhibited every time one mixes 
a pail of kalsomine, it "jells" when it cools, which makes 
it work smoother and makes it easier applied than before 

Glues are thrown in three different classes, according 
to the material that was used in their preparation. 

1st. Hide glue, made from skins, ears, tendons, hide 
trimmings from the tanyards, and similar offal. 

2d. Bone glue, from hoofs, feet, bones, joints, and any 
osseous offal. 

3d. Fish glue, made from the bladders, entrails, 
scales, and bones of fish. 

All are well aware of the great difference in the strength 
possessed by various glues. This depends upon the 
material of which they have been made, and in a lesser 
degree upon the manner of their preparation. 

Hide glues are the strongest of any, and possess the 
greatest tenacity. Bone glues are the weakest. It is 
difficult to make a glue salesman own up that any 
of his samples are bone glue, but some of them certainly 
are. Fish glue, especially that made from Russian stur- 


geon stock, is very strong. Some of the fish glues made 
from the bladders are not only very strong, but as clear 
as glass, offering no obstacle whatever to the passage of 
light rays, any more than would so much crystal. Isin- 
glass is only a very fine form of such fish glue. The 
bone glues usually furnish that form of glue known 
as gelatin. 

Glues range in color from that which is light and trans- 
parent to the dark brown stinking refuse, which forcibly 
reminds one of being very near a spot where animal 
matter is decaying. 

That which is prepared for the binding of kalsomine or 
water colors is known to the trade as kalsomine glue. In 
shape it is in thin sheets, which are broken up in small 
pieces before packing in barrels. There are many quali- 
ties of it. That which breaks with an elastic fracture 
and is of a light creamy tone is usually good. If it 
is very white and opaque, the chances are that it 
has been weighted with some adulterating sub- 
stance. These white weighted glues are not as 
economical nor as satisfactory as those of a creamy 
semi-transparent tone. 

Glue comes also in a pulverized form, ground up in 
small, angularly shaped particles, and it is to be found thus 
in all grades from poor to good. Usually ^these do not 
run as strong as the regular kalsomine glues do, but the 
better qualities answer the purpose well enough. The 
ground glues dissolve more readily than those that have 
not been broken up, and the thin ones of the kalsomine 
glue sorts dissolve quicker than the thick glues. Glue, 
however, of any and all shapes, can be used for the pur- 
pose of binding pigments in distemper work. It is only 
a question of convenience, saving of time, and of a knowl- 
edge of the strength that they possess, as without that 


it will be impossible to properly gauge the proper quan- 
tity of it to use for the binding of a given weight of pig- 
ment. Glue has the property of absorbing moisture and 
of retaining it when it comes in contact with cold water, 
but it is not dissolved by it. This well-known pecul- 
iarity is made use of by painters to hasten its solubility 
and to melt it. The glue is soaked in cold water over 
night. During that period, it will have absorbed several 
times its own weight of that liquid. It will then be 
swollen much above its normal bulk and softened in 
texture. This soaked and swollen glue, when placed in 
a vessel over the stove, will readily dissolve at a low heat, 
and thus will save much time and worry in melting it in 
the dry state, as then it requires constant stirring and 
much more heat besides care, or it will burn at the bottom 
of the vessel. When melted, it is ready to mix with the 
pigments, which should always be done before it has had 
time to cool and become jellied. 

In warm weather, putrefaction commences early in 
colors thus prepared, and unless one has a refrigerator 
for the surplus that cannot be used the same day, it will 
be better and pleasanter to mix no more than will be used 
up clean that day. 

To lessen the tendency to putrefaction, a few drops of 
carbolic acid or eugenol (oil of cloves) may be added. 
This will retard fermentation, but will not prevent it. 


Properties and Uses 

Gum arabic is probably the best binding substance 
known for water colors, and if it is given only second 
place on the list, it is not because it does not deserve to 
have the first, but because its much greater cost and 


also the greater care and difficulty in its use render 
its universal employment impossible; and also on ac- 
count of another reason: if gum arabic was used to 
the same extent as glue is for binding pigments, there 
would not be enough of it in the market, and its 
cost would soar so high as to put it out of commission 
at once. 

Gum arabic is a true gum, and consequently it is of 
vegetable origin. It is produced from several species of 
acacia. That best known is supposed to be produced 
from Acacia Arabica, and its name is derived from that; 
but in reality it is derived from Acacia Senegal, which is 
much more common, and the gum arabic of commerce is 
chiefly obtained from that variety. 

Its composition is a mixture of the salts of arabic acid, 
these salts being of three bases, potash, lime, and mag- 
nesia with water. 

The better specimens are nearly all free from color, 
clear, and nearly if not wholly soluble in water, and the 
solution clear. 

Gum arabic dissolves very slowly in cold water; boiling 
water must be used in making solutions. It should be 
pulverized to facilitate this, as it takes a long time to dis- 
solve the lumps. After the solution is made, it should 
stand for a day, and the clear liquid poured off, when the 
undissolved impurities will be found at the bottom and 
should be left undisturbed. It should be prepared before- 
hand, so as to have it at a moment's notice. It will be 
well to guard against any fermentation by the addition 
of a few drops of eugenol or of a lump of camphor 
which will float upon the top; this will prevent it from 

Being so much more slowly acted upon by cold water 
than the glues, and being so much less subject to putre- 


faction than animal matter, its use is indicated for dis- 
temper, fresco, and all good water-color work. For 
artists' use in water colors, it is indispensable. 

The above two substances, i.e., glues and gum arabic, 
are the two most important substances as binding agents 
for distemper colors. There are a few other substances 
used, but to so limited an extent as to deserve little 
more than passing mention. 

These have been grouped below, and consist of starch, 
dextrin, honey, molasses, sugar, and glycerine. 


Properties and Uses 

Starch is a substance well known to everybody, 
and is derived from the cereals and the bulbous roots 
of plants, as potatoes, yams, etc. Starch mixed 
with cold water into a stiff paste, and in which 
hot boiling water has been poured until it has become 
stiff and unctuous, has been and is occasionally 
used to mix pigments and apply them to surfaces. 
Its use for such a purpose can only be tolerated upon 
the plea of dire necessity, when no other and better 
binders are procurable, and cannot be recommended 
even for the cheapest kind of work. 


Properties and Uses 

The Dextrin of commerce is derived from starch. While 
its adhesiveness is greater than that substance, it is so 
much weaker than that of either glue or gum arabic, 
that its use is very questionable as a binder for distemper 
painting. It has another fault, in that it softens in warm 


weather; and those who have had to do with sticky enve- 
lopes and stuck-together stamps will know enough not 
to want to fool with it. 

As a corrective, used in small quantities with glues, it 
is said that it will prevent the suction of hot walls and 
keep the color from striking in too rapidly. 


Properties and Uses 

Honey, from its soft condition at all times, is not fitted 
for the binding of colors; molasses is similarly constituted; 
while sugar is a solid which by the addition of water can 
be brought to the consistency of syrup. The three 
possess about the same properties, and are too weak for 
the binding of water colors. As correctives to be used 
with distemper colors mixed with glue, they are fre- 
quently resorted to for the same purposes as mentioned 
under the heading of dextrin. Honey is also used as a 
corrective in the preparation of artists' water colors in 
the form in which they are so popular now, that of moist 
pans. It is also used in very limited quantity in the 
hard cakes to prevent the gum arabic in their compound- 
ing from becoming too brittle and crumbling to pieces. 
As honey usually becomes crystalline, and in that condi- 
tion is as useless as granulated sugar would be, it is 
treated to prevent its crystallization, and has its 
dextrose removed. This is accomplished by mixing 
it with four times its bulk of alcohol and keeping it 
agitated every few hours for two consecutive days; 
then the pale alcoholic solution is filtered. It is 
fit to use in that condition, or the alcohol may be 
recovered by distillation, and the residue in a syrupy 
condition may be used instead. 



Properties and Uses 

Glycerine is obtained from oils and fats. Many of the 
large soap works produce it as a by-product. It is of the 
consistency of a thin syrup and has a sweetish taste. It 
attracts moisture readily, and will absorb more than one 
third of its weight from the atmosphere. That which is 
found in commerce has always some water in its com- 
position. This can be readily detected by its specific 
gravity and the percentage of water computed from the 
variation of that which it shows and that which it ought 
to have. Its great attraction for water really makes it 
superior to honey in the manufacture of cake and moist 
cake water colors, and many are beginning to use it for 
that purpose. 

It is also very useful to add to distemper colors and 
kalsomine for wall-work and for rooms where the plas- 
tering is in that condition which is known as hot. It will 
greatly facilitate the application of the paint into which 
it has been added in the proportion of four to six fluid 
ounces to the pail of color (about 2J gallons). Its use 
has saved many a man from profanity. 



General Remarks 

It has been noted in the descriptions of the various 
pigments that some of them were called non-driers. 
The pigments themselves, being powdered solids, never dry 
any more than they do when ground up with oil to a 
paste. The term, therefore, does not apply to them 
really, but to the linseed-oil vehicle with which they are 
mixed, and refers to the action of the pigment upon the 
oil. It was also noted that some other pigments on the 
contrary aided the drying of the fixed oils. 

The main reason for the non-drying of pigments is that 
some contain fatty oils which do not dry; there are also 
other reasons which were noted under each head. Again, 
it was noticed that the lead pigments which were 
oxides of that metal, and that pigments also which con- 
tained oxide of manganese in their composition, hastened 
the drying of the oils. 

The oxides of lead are all very good driers, but also 
some of the other salts of that metal and acetate of lead 
are especially so; even white lead itself possesses that 
property to a good degree but not in such proportion 
as some others. It will usually dry raw linseed oil in a few 
hours outside, without the addition of artificial driers 
unless the weather is cold and the atmosphere too humid. 

In describing the drying of linseed oil, it was said that 
the heating of the linseed oil of itself rendered it more 



siccative, so that even subsequently, after it had cooled, 
it would still retain some of its thus acquired drying 

Linseed oil would dry naturally when mixed with inert 
pigments, as these exert no influence upon its drying one 
way or another; and with the pigments, which will aid 
its oxidation the more quickly, as these part with their 
oxide more rapidly or liberally, and when mixed with the 
non-drying pigments much more slowly or not at all, 
according to the composition of the non-drying colors. 
If the temperature could be depended upon to remain 
above 70 F., and the barometer at "Beau Fixe," 
and only pigments mixed with linseed oil which 
were not inimical to its natural drying, there would be 
but little need of driers; but, unfortunately, there can be 
no dependence placed upon it. Neither the thermometer 
nor the barometer ever remain very long where the 
painter would like them to be, being proverbially fickle, 
so, by the use of dryers, he must guard against the 
possibility of having his work destroyed by changes which 
are likely to come at a moment's notice. 

Again, in interior work, the women folk are ever hurry- 
ing up the poor painter, and ever threatening all sorts of 
evil to him, even to threatening him that this is to be the 
last job for him there, if he does not put in a little more 
push to his hastening along with it, when he is doing all 
that possibly can be done, and more, for the real good of 
the painting; or in business houses or stores, where the 
painting has to be done at night, so the paint may be 
dry in the morning, there is no other alternative left to 
the painter but that of using siccatives in his paints, no 
matter whether this is good for it or not. 

There is no doubt but that much of the short life of 
paint complained of is due, in part at least, to the hurried 


drying of linseed oil, which burns it up that is what fast 
drying means. Where the drying is slow and natural, 
the conversion occurs without violence. Then the paint 
will stay on much longer and remain in good condition 
without checking all over from lack of adhesion and 


This is the simplest of the siccatives. The heating of 
linseed oil renders it more drying. Boiled oil, when the 
boiling has been done, as it usually is, with the oxides of 
lead or manganese present during the process, renders it 
still more drying. 

How those substances are capable of imparting oxygen 
to linseed oil without losing any of it themselves is not 
well understood. One thing is sure, if a given weight 
of those oxides be placed in a bag with the oil and all 
boiled together, these bags may be taken out and the 
linseed oil carefully washed away with benzine, and the 
oxide powders dried and weighed, when it will be found 
that they have not lost any of it by the operation, but 
the linseed oil will have absorbed oxygen through their 
agency some way. 

As a siccative, boiled oil has its uses even for outside 
painting, but it is seldom used for that purpose, probably 
because the specially prepared liquid driers or japans 
are more powerful siccatives and smaller proportions are 
necessary to accomplish the purpose of drying the oil. 


General Remarks 

Manufacturers of varnishes usually prepare siccative 
compounds for the drying of linseed oil. They are sold 


under many names, such as drying japans, liquid driers, 
liquid siccatives, and many fancy proprietary names. 

The solving medium used in their preparation is really 
of little moment, whether it be linseed oil, spirits of 
turpentine, naphtha, benzine, or mixtures of these. The 
quantity necessary to dry a given amount of linseed oil 
is so small that their presence in the oil can exert little 
influence other than that which is expected of them 
the drying of the oil. An undue quantity added to lin- 
seed oil will injure it, but then that would happen no 
matter what the solvent might be. 


The action of these has already been noted, as, for 
instance, when boiled with linseed oil, etc. All lead 
siccatives have one drawback that they all hold in com- 
mon, they subject the oil, or rather the pigments mixed 
with it, to the action of sulphuretted hydrogen. 

This is not so noticeable in the liquid driers as it is 
in the paste driers, when the lead oxides themselves 
become a part of the paint. 

The paste driers will be noted further on more fully. 

Liquid driers are very seldom, if ever, made from the 
lead oxides, for the very good reason that the 


are much better adapted for that purpose. When made 
with these, there is no danger of any further discolora- 
tion taking place, outside of that which is produced 
immediately after the mixing of the liquid manganese 
drier with the paint. The greatest drawback is their 
dark brown color. If, however, the brown borate of 
manganese is used in the preparing of the liquid drier, 
the dark tone of the drier will be reduced to a minimum, 


The manganese driers are such strong driers that, if 
they have been well prepared, but little of them need be 
used, and that little will influence the drying of linseed 
oil a long way. 

There is absolutely no excuse for using the large quan- 
tities of liquid manganese driers many painters do. It 
then becomes dangerous, for it burns the paint, and, in 
excessive quantities, it will defeat the purpose for which 
it is used at all the drying of the oil. When will the 
careless painter learn that a little manganese drier will 
accomplish the object of drying oil much better than the 
larger quantities of it. Strange as the above may sound, 
it is not the quantity used that causes the oil to dry 
faster, for it will take it up only as it needs it at its 
convenience, nor will it take up more than the needed 
amount. Another strange fact, hard to explain, is that 
when excessive quantities are used the very object of 
quick drying is defeated, as then it seems rather to pre- 
vent than accelerate it. One large tablespoonful of a 
well-made standard average strength liquid drier is 
amply sufficient for any ordinary pail holding three 
quarts of paint ready thinned for application. This will 
dry all ordinary mixtures where white lead is the base 
of the paint. For Vandyke brow r n and lamp black, half 
a pint to the gallon of linseed oil will be found suffi- 
cient those two pigments being the most anti-drying 
ones on the list. 


The oxides of lead, we have already seen, affect white 
lead compound and others even more, which are not 
affected by sulphuretted -hydro gen gases, which, when 
they are used, are affected by their presence. 

Formerly large quantities of acetate of lead paste 
driers were manufactured, but their defects under 


unfavorable conditions specking and coming out as an 
efflorescence have greatly reduced their use. Under 
that form and style they are still used in certain localities. 

Paste fillers are made and prepared according to pro- 
prietary formulas, so that what might be a good one 
made by one firm will not necessarily need to be a recom- 
mendation for some one else's make, simply because it 
is put up in that form. Acetate of lead is the base of all 
light-toned ones. They are used for very light tints and 
whites. Many an artist has had to rue the day when he 
was tempted to use them, as they are chiefly composed, as 
was said, of acetate of lead, or may also contain white 
oxide of lead or litharge, which, however, darkens it some. 
Aside from subjecting the painting to the action of sul- 
phurous vapors, deteriorating and specking or efflores- 
cing, there are other injurious chemical changes affecting 

Sulphate of zinc drier in paste form is a fair drier for 
zinc white, but of little value when used in connection 
with any other pigment. 

Borate of lime and borate of zinc also make useful 
driers for zinc paint. 

Some paste driers are now made with borate of man- 
ganese as the chief ingredient in their composition. Such 
will be found more effective and more valuable, even if 
they are a trifle dark, than the other varieties of paste 
driers, but they are not as advantageous as the liquid 
driers. They require to be carefully thinned out before 
mixing with the paint, and for that reason will never 
become popular. It is a waste of time to triturate them 
and thin them for use, which, when done, puts them in 
liquid form and makes a liquid drier of them after 
all. Why not procure that in the first place and save 
all the bother? 


THE compounding of pigments changes the color of 
each, imparting to the others a part, and in return receiv- 
ing a part of theirs, so that the completed mixture becomes 
a new color different from that of the pigments produc- 
ing it, but which partakes of the character of each one 
of them in some degree. 


Of colors proper there are but three. These three are 
called the primary colors. They are the following: 

Red, Yellow and Blue 

White itself is but the product of a perfect combination 
of the three primaries, black being simply a negative of 
all color. 


From the combination of two of any of the primary 
colors together are made the secondary colors, and these 
are as follows: 

Purple, Orange and Green 

They are thus produced: 

Red and blue = Purple. 

Red and yellow = Orange. 

Yellow and blue = Green. 




From the union of two of the secondary colors comes 
a third set, the tertiary colors which consist of the 

Olive, Citrine and Russet 

They are derived in this way: 

Purple and green = Olive. 
Green and orange = Citrine. 
Purple and orange = Russet. 

Further mixtures of these produce the neutral tints. 

From the above three primaries, three secondaries and 
three tertiaries, with the addition of white and black, 
are produced the hundreds of thousands of varied tints 
which form the kaleidoscope of infinite variety adorning 
everything animate and inanimate upon this mundane 

It is regrettable that no more space can be devoted to 
the study and notice of color harmony, but this would 
unduly enlarge the volume, and it is not strictly within 
the subject matter. The color student is therefore advised 
to procure some of the excellent treatises which deal 
with this subject as their primary object. There is 
nothing more interesting than the study of the phenom- 
ena of color. It will greatly help the student, not alone 
in that it will help him to mix tints properly, but also in 
the higher object of becoming master of color effects, 
which is a faculty that few otherwise very good painters 
possess, and which would be worth to them in after life 
many times over whatever effort in time and money they 
may have spent in acquiring a good knowledge of color. 

Expert colorists are in good demand at any reasonable 
figures which they. may demand for their services. 


For the making of tints, a base is used upon which to 
build it. The base is that pigment which enters the com- 
pound in the greatest quantity. If a white, and that 
is usually the base of all light tints, it is either white 
lead or. zinc white, used alone or together in any propor- 
tions, and still other whites may be added to them as 
correctives if desired. 

The rules given below are formulated for guidance in 
the preparation of tints, with linseed oil as the vehicle, 
and for pigments which have been ground to a paste 
in the same vehicle. These same rules will apply to the 
mixing of pigments and the making of tints from them 
in any other vehicle, japan, varnish or water, with what- 
ever slight alterations made necessary by the different 
nature of those liquids. 


The base, as was said before, is the principal color of 
the tint. Tints usually, but not always, are lighter 
tones of those of the pigments used in compounding 
them, so white must be used -to lighten them up. It 
thus becomes the principal color or the base upon which 
the tint is built. It may be any white pigment, or 
combination of them; but to simplify matters, and also 
on account of its being the pigment in chief use for the 
purpose, when a white base is designated hereafter it 
it will be called white lead, no matter if it is that or any 
other white that one may prefer to use. 

In some few cases, however, where great purity of 
tone is necessary, and for certain kinds of interior work, 
zinc white should be substituted. With these explan- 
ations one cannot greatly err. It will be an easy matter 
to substitute zinc for lead, when it is well understood 
that the white lead base that is indicated in the next 


chapter does not stand as meaning that especially, but 
only a white base as the predominating pigment. 

The white lead or zinc white or other accessory whites 
must have been broken up, as is called the operation of 
taking it out of its original package or keg in which it 
was placed at the factory and thinning it with sufficient 
linseed oil to make a rather stiff and smooth paste. It is 
not such an easy matter as it may look, to a novice, to stir 
up the lead and to get it into a smooth uniform mass 
free from lumps. It is simple, but it means hard work, 
requiring strength and effort to perform it properly. 
Some use a little turpentine with the oil, to make it break 
up readily, and the small quantity required will not 
harm it for any purpose of outside painting. If possible, 
the breaking up should be done the day before prepar- 
ing the tints; if left over night many of the small lumps, 
which seem to defy the paddle and constantly escape it, 
and which are a cause of mental irritation, and thereby 
of profanity, become soaked up by the linseed oil when 
left in contact with it over night, and the next day the 
mass is more easily brought to a uniform smooth paste. 
The tub or tubs used for the breaking up of the lead 
should always be ready to furnish the base in just the 
shape described, as it will be found much better than 
freshly broken up lead for the purpose of preparing 
tints. Of course, it is not absolutely necessary that it 
should be broken up ahead of the time it is needed, but 
it will be found better, and the better way is what the 
author is trying to inculcate. 


These, too, should have been previously broken up by 
the gradual addition of small quantities of linseed oil. 
When the pigment has been beaten up with the oil, and 


has absorbed all the oil, forming a smooth paste of uniform 
texture, more is added and triturated with it, till again 
that is absorbed, and a liquid is obtained which pours out 
easily as thin as one would wish to apply with a brush. 
It is only when in this condition that the coloring pig- 
ments can be added to the base safely, as otherwise they 
will not incorporate with it with anything like uniformity, 
and the tint may be streaky, which is an abomination 
and a sure sign of the incompetency of the tint mixer. 


The pigments must be added slowly to the base, so as 
not to overshoot the intended tint. It is an easy matter 
to add more pigment to the base, if it is needed, to bring 
it to the intended tint, but it is impossible to take it out 
if the addition has been overdone. This overdosing is 
called, in painter's parlance, drowning the miller. 

Tints made by the simple addition of one coloring pig- 
ment to the base are readily handled by following the above 


If more than one coloring pigment is required to pro- 
duce a given tint, the first in importance in the mixture 
should be added to the base up to a point just short of 
that which it is thought its due proportion should enter 
into the compound. The next one in importance should 
then be added to the base, and that, too, stopped short of 
that which it is thought it should be, and the same process 
continued for each pigment entering the compounding of 
the tint. After the mass has been well stirred, and has 
become uniform throughout, it will then be an easy mat- 
ter to add a bit more of this or that color, if t'here is need 
of it, to bring it to the exact shade of the tint that is to 
be matched. 


- If one has been careful to stop short of the quantity 
thought to be required, as is easily seen, it will be readily 
remedied; but if, on the contrary, one has not stopped 
in time, and has overdone it, putting too much of the 
pigment in it, then the mending will be more difficult. 
It will require, in the first place, an increase in the quan- 
tity of the base, proportionate to the excess of coloring 
pigment used over and above the right amount, so that 
one will be forced to mix up a larger quantity of the tint 
than was intended or may be required, which means a 

If one has poured in too much through accident, and 
is aware of it, it is sometimes possible to dip out the color 
so poured in, or the most of it, before it has been mixed 
with the base; it will then not be necessary to add 
much, if any, of the base color. The waste is then 
reduced to a minimum. Then proceed to thoroughly mix, 
after which add the other coloring pigments, as directed, 
and lastly a portion of that which was dipped out just 
so much as is needed to bring the tint to the desired 
shade. The remnant will be so small a loss, that, in com- 
parison with the other waste mentioned, it will be hardly 
worth speaking about. 


When a tint has been compounded to the perfect satis- 
faction of the mixer, as when the lead has been well 
broken up and used, as it should have been, in the form 
of a very stiff paste, and if the tinting pigments have 
been thinned well, so they could be easily incorporated 
with the base, and the whole has been well stirred up so 
that the paste is of a uniform consistency throughout, 
it will be found rather stiff much too stiff for application 
with a brush. But the condition it is in then is just the 


right one for transportation, as it can be dipped out into 
stock pails and transferred to the job where it is to be 
used, without any danger of its slopping out, as it would 
surely do had it been thinned out to the point needed 
for its application. 

It is, of course, impossible to give very definite direc- 
tions about the thinning, as circumstances vary so much 
that the experience of the man behind the brush must 
be used here. No directions, other than the most com- 
monplace ones, can be given, i.e., thin out more for first 
and second coats than for third, and more all around for 
spongy surfaces than for such as have little or no pene- 

The above directions will suffice to enable anyone to 
mix tints properly in oil. 

For coach painting, the same care must be exercised 
as directed for tints made in linseed oil in adding the 
coloring pigments to the base, the main difference being 
in the thinner, which is either japan or varnish and 
volatile oils. There is little, if any, compounding of tints 
in coach painting, the colors used for that work being 
self ones, or, if compounded at all, that is usually done at 
the factory. 

For distemper painting, the pigments coloring the 
base which is usually whiting should be mixed 
separately as for oil colors, only that they should be 
made more fluid ; otherwise , all that was said before 
applies to them also. The thinning fluid being water, 
instead of linseed oil, japan, or varnish. After the tint 
has been finished to the satisfaction of the mixer, the 
melted glue or the dissolved gum arabic can be added. 
It is much more difficult to tint shades up to a given 
sample in distemper than it is in the preceding vehicles, 
for the reason that pigments mixed in water do not 


appear the same as when dry, which in oily mediums 
they do. In water they appear very much darker than 
they are after drying. There are no exceptions to that 
universal peculiarity, so that a tint mixed to the exact 
shade of a dry sample, when first applied, would be entire- 
ly too light when dry. The tints should be made very much 
darker than the sample to be matched, and a small patch 
should be painted over a piece of paper, and the same 
placed in a warm sunny spot or over a stove so the water 
will evaporate quickly, and, when dry, the tint can then 
be compared to the sample, and if not deep enough more 
of the tinting pigment must be added until the tint has 
attained the same tone as that of the sample. This may 
require several times testing it, by drying it upon the 
piece of paper, but it is the only safe way, and any 
other method would be but guess work. 

It requires considerably more experience on the part 
of the mixer to hit a tint just right in a quick way. Few 
men can fall into it at once. In time, the experience 
gained by many former failures will gradually work up 
into intuition, for that is what it seems to the man who 
has tried it a few times but could not do it. 



General Remarks 

IT is deplorable that the English language has no 
well-defined nomenclature to designate tints. As other 
languages have not got any either, it is not behind them 
any in this regard; but it is deplorable nevertheless. 

If one is inclined to doubt this, let him procure the 
color cards of a dozen manufacturers of mixed paints, 
where the tints are known and sold by name, as well as 
by number, and these names printed under the tints. 
It will be found upon inspection that it will be rare if any 
two out of the dozen look alike. This is especially true 
of the neutral tints, or those tints which are neither 
primary, secondary, nor tertiary. Owing to this lack of 
uniformity, some persons may think that they have not 
been successful in obtaining the right tint if they get 
something which does not come up to their conception 
of what the tint ought to be, and may think that the 
directions given as to how to make them are wrong, 
or that the colors used in the making were off; all but 
the right conclusion perhaps that what they call a 
gray may be somebody else's drab. If he follows the 
directions for making a gray, and his own ideas of a 
drab being that the gray fits them, it will certainly be 
a hard matter to convince him that he is wrong, because 
there is no accepted standard recognized to settle it 



beyond dispute. Again, if the directions be given for the 
making of a sage green, and the tint happens to be what 
he conceives is a myrtle green, or an apple green or a light 
olive, who will say that he is wrong? Surely, when 
well-trained men differ so widely among themselves, how 
can others, who have only given the study of color the 
most superficial examination, be expected to do better ? 
Nature itself varies exceedingly, and tints which are 
named after the prevailing tones of green of certain 
trees or plants are bound to form a subject of endless 
and profitless controversies as to what is the proper tint. 
Take instances, outside of the vegetable kingdom, out 
of that of animals : Peacock blue where is the standard 
for that? Let anyone undertake to furnish one, and out 
of a dozen men, at least ten would demur to it! If the 
whole dozen undertook to furnish the standard, there 
would be precisely twelve supplied. 

So, when directions are given for the making of such 
far-fetched named tints that fashion has given birth to, 
such as baby elephant's breath, cataract's mist, etc., 
would many be found sufficiently aesthetic to forthwith 
fall into the idea of it, or, if they did, would they coincide 
as to the proper tints to represent them? 

These precautionary words are necessary to warn the 
reader that he must not expect too much (or the impossi- 
ble) from the general directions given for the compound- 
ing of tints by name. The quantity, by weight, of pig- 
. ment to be used in producing them has been left blank 
for the very purpose of enabling the mixer to suit himself 
if possible as to the depth, and in more than two pig- 
ment compounds to some extent as to the tone. This 
will give the mixer a chance to use some judgment of 
his own, and if he has noted the direction given, not to 
drown the miller. He will have the tint light enough so 


that he can add more of the coloring pigments named 
to produce the tint of such depth and tone as he requires 
it to be. 

There is still another very important reason why 
weights are not given. It must have been made very 
plain to the readers of this treatise, who have followed 
the descriptions given with each pigment, that there is 
a vast difference in the strength of coloring matter con- 
tained in a given weight of various samples of most of 
them. If one man took a recipe made up in pounds and 
ounces he would obtain a tint that would bear no resem- 
blance to that obtained by the very same recipe in some 
other locality, where the coloring pigments were made up 
by another manufacturer. Thus, if a recipe should say: 

Take White lead . . . . . . . . 20 pounds 

Venetian red 3 

Medium chrome yellow . . 1 " 

If operator No. 1, should use a pure chrome yellow and 
a good-toned Venetian red; operator No. 2, of the same 
town, using a chrome yellow, containing but 20 per cent 
of color, and an indifferent Venetian red, would have an 
entirely different tint, and it would be due to the recipe 
giving precise weights. Had the same been left blank, 
the chances are that the difference would not have been 
so great at any rate, the mixer would have had some- 
thing nearer to his liking. 


For the purpose of easy reference in the finding of any 
particular tint, they have been listed alphabetically. 

The base pigment, or the principal one of the com- 
pound, is invariably named first. The other coloring 
pigments are named in the order of their importance 


in the make up of the tints. Therefore, of the last, 
frequently but a very small portion need be added. 
As far as possible, where a simple tinge or reflection of a 
color is needed this will be indicated : 

Acacia. Lamp black for base ; color it up with Indian red and 
tinge with Prussian blue. 

v Acorn Brown. Similar to chocolate which see but lightened 
with white lead. 

Alderney Brown. Lamp black; orange chrome yellow; Fr. 
ocher; white lead. 

Amber Brown. Burnt sienna for base; add orange chrome 
yellow, burnt umber, a trifle of lamp black, lighten shade to 
suit by adding white lead. 

Amaranth. Tuscan red and vermilion in about equal parts 
for base; add enough ultramarine blue to suit shade of it wanted. 

Anemone. Vermilion red for base; Prussian blue and a little 
black and white lead. 

Alabaster. White lead for base. Give it a very faint tinge 
of medium chrome yellow. 

Apple Green. White lead for base; add light chrome green 
and orange chrome yellow. 

Antique Bronze. Orange chrome yellow for base; add ivory 
black ; lamp black can be substituted, but the shade will not be 
so rich. 

v; Apricot. Medium chrome yellow for base; Venetian red, car- 
mine lake, if light shade is wanted lighten it up with white lead. 

Armenian Red. Bright Venetian red for base ; lighten up with 
French ocher. 

Ash Gray. White lead for base; tinge with lamp black, add 
a bit of French ocher. 

Asiatic Bronze. Raw umber for base ; medium chrome yellow 
to which add sufficient white lead to suit shade wanted. 

Ashes of Roses. Light Tuscan red for base, to which add a 
trifle of lamp black. 

Autumn Leaf. White lead for base, to which add French 
ocher, orange chrome yellow, a trifle of Venetian red, sufficient 
to slightly redden tone with more of it, if a deeper-toned red 
is desired. 


Azure Blue. White lead for base ; add Prussian blue to shade 
desired of it. 

Bay. Lamp black for base; add Venetian red and orange 
chrome yellow. 

Begonia. Lamp black ; vermilion red of a good scarlet shade, 
tinge with Prussian blue. 

Bismark Brown. Burnt sienna for base; add burnt umber, 
orange chrome yellow. Lighten slightly with white lead to 

Black Slate. Lamp black for base; Prussian blue, slightly 
lightened up with white lead. % 

Bordeaux Blue. Lamp black for base; orange chrome yellow, 
Prussian blue. 

Bottle Green. Prussian blue and lamp black for base, and 
lemon chrome yellow. To obtain this tint at its best, it should 
be glazed over afterwards with a yellow lake. 

Brass. White lead for base; add medium chrome yellow; 
French ocher to tint wanted. 

Bronze Red. Vermilion red for base; orange chrome yellow; 
lamp black. 

Brown Stone. Tuscan red for base; add orange chrome yel- 
low; lamp black; lighten up to suit with white lead. 

Brick Color. Yellow ocher for base; add Venetian red to 
suit, for very light shades add white lead in very small quantity. 

Bronze Green. Extra dark chrome green for base; add lamp 
black. This makes a fair bronze green. If extra dark chrome 
green is not obtainable, use the dark or even medium chrome 
green with more of the lamp black to darken the tint. 

Another recipe is given for a richer tone of it ; 
green for base; add ivory black and a trifle of raw umber to 
shade wanted. 

Bronze Yellow. Medium chrome yellow for base; raw umber; 
lighten up with white lead. 

Browns, all shades and Brown Drabs. Venetian red for base; 
add French ocher and lamp black in various proportions accord- 
ing to the shade of brown wanted. For the brown drabs add 
white lead to the above brown tints, to the desired shade. 

Buttercup. White lead for base ; add lemon chrome yellow 
to suit. 


Cambridge Red. Vermilion for base ; add Prussian blue to suit. 

Cafe au lait. Burnt umber for base; add white lead; French 
ocher; Venetian red. 

Carnation. English vermilion for base; add some good 
madder lake or carmine. If desired very light, add some zinc 

Cerulean Blue. Zinc white for base; add ultramarine blue, 
but better use cobalt if procurable and genuine. 

Cherry Red. Vermilion for base; add burnt sienna; 
crimson lake; ultramarine blue. 

Chamois. White lead for base ; add French ocher ; medium 
chrome yellow to suit. 

Chatnoline. White lead for base; add raw sienna; lemon 
chrome yellow to suit. 

Chartreuse. White lead for base; add medium chrome 
yellow; medium chrome green. 

Chestnut. Venetian red for base; add medium chrome 
yellow; French ocher and lamp black. 

t/ Chocolate. Burnt amber for base; add some rich crimson 
vermilion or madder lake. 

Another way is French ocher for base; add lamp black and 
a little Venetian red to suit. 

Canary. Use the chrome yellow sold under that name. 
Another way is to take lemon chrome yellow to which add 
zinc white to reduce to tint wanted. 

Claybank. French ocher for base; add orange chrome 
yellow; lighten up to shade wanted with white lead. 

Claret. Madder lake and ultramarine blue for base, to which 
add some English vermilion and ivory black. 

Clay Drab. White lead for base; medium chrome yellow; 
raw and burnt sienna. 

Cinnamon. White lead for base; add burnt sienna; French 
ocher; medium chrome yellow. 

\J Cobalt Blue. This is a solid blue. Use blue sold under that 
name. If not obtainable, take good ultramarine blue for base, 
to which add sufficient zinc white to lighten it to shade required. 

Coral Pink. Vermilion for base ; white lead ; medium chrome 


Colonial Yellow. White lead for base; add medium chrome 
yellow; orange chrome yellow to tinge it 

Cocoanut Brown. Burnt umber for base; lighten up with 
white lead. 

Cotrine. White lead for base; add orange chrome yellow and 
lamp black. 

Cream Color, and all the buffs. White lead for base; add some 
good French or Oxford ocher to tint wanted ; this will make all 
the cream and buff tints from very light to very dark by adding 
more or less of the ocher. 

Copper. Medium chrome yellow for base; add Venetian red 
and a little of lamp black. 

Citron. Venetian red for base; add medium chrome yellow 
with some Prussian blue just to tinge. If too dark, lighten up 
with white lead. 

Crimson. Dark English vermilion or any of the dark shades 
of vermilion reds. If desired very rich toned, add some good 
madder lake or carmine. 

Dove Color. White lead for base; add ultramarine blue; 
Indian red and lamp black. 

Dregs of Wine. Dark Tuscan red for base; lamp black and 
a trifle of zinc white. 

Electric Blue. Ultramarine blue for base; add white lead 
and raw sienna. 

Ecru. White lead for base ; add French ocher ; burnt sienna ; 
lamp black. This tint varies greatly. Its meaning is raw 
and is intended to represent the color of raw flax, before it is 

Emerald. Paris green as it is or an imitation of it made from 
a very pale chrome green of a bluish cast or slightly tinged with 
Prussian blue. 

Egyptian Green. White lead for base; add raw umber; lemon 
chrome yellow; Prussian blue to suit. 

Fawn. White lead for base; add medium chrome yellow; 
Venetian red; burnt umber. 

Flesh Color. White lead for base; add medium chrome yel- 
low; French ocher; and Venetian red. 


French Gray. White lead for base; add ivory black with a 
faint tinge of ultramarine blue and madder lake or carmine. 

French Red. Indian red for base; add English vermilion to 
brighten it, then glaze with madder lake or carmine. 

Gazelle. French ocher for base ; add dark Tuscan red ; Vene- 
tian red; lamp black; lighten up with white lead. 

Geranium. Vermilion red for base; add Indian red and 
lamp black. 

Gobelin Blue. Ivory black for base ; a.dd white lead ; Prussian 
blue; medium chrome green. 

Gold. White lead for base ; add medium chrome yellow ; some 
good French ocher; and a very little vermilion red or English. 

Golden Brown. French ocher for base; add orange chrome 
yellow; lamp black; lighten up with white lead to suit. 

Gray Green. White lead for base; add ultramarine blue; 
lemon chrome yellow; lamp black. 

Grass Green. Extra light chrome green just as it comes from 
the can. For an extra fine job glaze with Paris green. 

Green Stone. White lead for base ; add medium chrome green ; 
raw umber, and French ocher. 

Gray Stone. White lead for base; add lamp black; Prussian 
blue; Venetian red. 

Gray Drabs. All shades of them. White lead for base ; add 
lamp black or ivory black with a little burnt umber in various 
proportion according as a light or deep shade of drab is desired. 

Greys. Light ' to dark shades. White lead for base ; lamp 
black in various proportions to suit shade wanted. 

Hay Color. White lead for base; add orange chrome yellow; 
light chrome green; Indian red. 

Heliotrope. Zinc white for base; add bright Venetian red; 
ultramarine blue. 

Indian Pink. White lead for base ; add Indian red. 

Indian Brown. Indian red for base; add lamp black; French 

Iron Gray. Lamp black for base; add white lead and a trifle 
of orange chrome yellow. 


Ivy Green. French ocher for base; add lamp black; Prussian 

Jasper. Lamp black for base ; add white lead ; medium chrome 
yellow; light Indian red. 

Jonquil. White lead for base; add medium chrome yellow 
to which should be added a tinge of red with English pale ver- 
milion to enrich it. 

Lavender. White lead for base ; add ivory black ; ultramarine 
blue; tinge with carmine or madder lake. 

Lead Color. White lead for base ; add lamp black and a trifle 
of Prussian blue. The latter can be omitted, if the lamp black 
is good. 

Leather. French ocher for a base; add burnt umber. If a 
warm tone of it is desired, add some Venetian red. 

Lemon. Use lemon chrome yellow just as it is. 

Leaf Buds. White lead for base; add orange chrome yellow; 
light chrome green. 

Lilac. White lead for base; add dark Indian red to suit. 

London Smoke. Yellow ocher for base ; add ultramarine blue ; 
lamp black; lighten up to suit with white lead. 

Magenta. Vermilion for a base; add carmine or madder lake 
with a tinge of ultramarine blue. 

Mauve. Yellow ocher for base; add Venetian red; lamp 
black; lighten up to suit with white lead. 

Mastic. White lead base; add French ocher; Venetian red, 
a trifle of lamp black. 

Maroon. Carmine or madder lake for base; add ivory black 
and a small part of ' orange chrome yellow another way ; 
Tuscan red for base; add orange chrome yellow with a trifle of 
ivory black. 

Manila or Deck Paint. White lead for base; French ocher; 
medium chrome yellow. 

Marigold. Medium chrome yellow for base; add white lead; 
orange chrome yellow. 

Mexican Red. Bright Venetian red for base; red lead. 

Mignonette. Medium chrome green for base; add Prussian 
blue; medium chrome yellow; lamp black. 


Moorish Red. Vermilion red for base; add rose pink or, 
what is much better, madder lake. 

Mouse Color. White lead for base; add lamp black, a tinge 
of Venetian red and burnt umber. 

Moss Rose. Lemon chrome yellow for base; add medium 
chrome green; lighten with white lead to suit. 

Mulberry. Ivory black for base; add vermilion red; trifle 
Prussian blue. 

Myrtle Green. Dark chrome green for base; add ultramarine 
blue; lighten up with white lead to suit. 

Nile Blue. White lead for base; add Prussian blue; with a 
trifle of medium chrome green. 

Normandy Blue. Medium chrome green; ultramarine blue; a 
trifle of white lead. 

Nut Brown. Lamp black for base ; add Venetian red ; medium 
chrome yellow; French ocher. 

Oak Color. Light and dark shades of it. White lead for 
base ; add French ocher ; also a small quantity of Venetian red. 
Vary the quantities to suit for light or dark shades. 

Old Gold. White lead for base; add medium chrome yellow; 
French ocher and a small portion of burnt umber. 

Olive. Lemon chrome yellow for base ; add about equal parts 
of Prussian blue and lamp black. Some shades of olive can be 
made by substituting French ocher for the lemon yellow; in 
such a case the tone will not be so bright. A trifle of the lemon 
chrome yellow added to the ocher will improve it and make 
still another variety of olive tones. 

Orange. Orange chrome yellow, just as it comes from the 
can. If not to be had, take medium chrome yellow and color 
it up with a bright scarlet red any scarlet-toned vermilion 
will do. 

Olive Brown. Raw umber for base ; add lemon chrome yellow. 
Vary the quantity to suit the intensity of shade wanted. 

Orange Brown. Orange chrome yellow for base; add raw 
sienna; a trifle of burnt umber. 

Oriental Green. Raw umber for base; add lemon chrome 
yellow to suit. 


Opal Gray. White lead for base; add burnt sienna; ultra- 
marine blue. 

Peach Blossom. White lead for base; add pale Indian red to 
suit. A tinge of madder lake will enrich it, but is not a 

Pearl. White lead for base; add ivory black and a trifle of 
ultramarine blue and carmine red. It is a very light shade, 
just off the white; do not overdo it. 

Pea Green. White lead for base; add medium chrome green 

to suit. 

Peacock Blue. Ultramarine blue for base; add extra light 
chrome green and zinc white to suit. 

Persian Orange. Orange chrome yellow for base; add French 
ocher; white lead. 

Pink. Zinc white for base; add madder lake or carmine or 
the crimson shades of English vermilion. 

Pompeian Red. Vermilion red base; add orange chrome 
yellow; ivory black. 

Pompeian Blue. White lead base; add ultramarine blue; 
vermilion red; French ocher. 

Plum Color. White lead for base; add Indian red; ultra- 
marine blue. 

Portland Stone. French ocher for base; add raw umber; 
lighten up with white lead. 

Pistache. Ivory black for base; add French ocher; medium 
chrome green. 

Purple. White lead for base; add dark Indian red; a trifle of 
light Indian red to suit. 

Primrose. White lead for base ; add lemon or medium chrome 
yellow, according to the shade wanted of it. 

Purple Brown. Dark Indian red for base; add ultramarine 
blue ; a trifle of lamp black and white lead to lighten it up. 

Quaker Green. White lead for base; add French ocher; lamp 
black and burnt sienna. 

Roan. Lamp black for base; add Venetian red; Prussian 
blue ; lighten it up to suit with white lead. 


Robin's Egg Blue. White lead for base; add ultramarine 
blue until the shade is a pretty deep blue, then add some pale 
or medium chrome green to suit tone desired of it. 

Russet. White lead for base; add orange chrome yellow; a 
trifle of lamp black. 

Russian Gray. White lead for base; add ultramarine blue; 
pale Indian red and lamp black. 

Sage Green. White lead for base; add medium chrome green 
until the tint is nearly but not quite a pea green, then add lamp 
black to bring it to the sage color. 

Salmon. White lead for base ; add French ocher ; burnt sienna ; 
with a trifle of English vermilion or a good vermilion red. 

Sapphire Blue. Zinc white for base; add ultramarine blue. 

Sap Green. White lead base; add medium chrome yellow; 
lamp black. 

Sea Green. White lead base; add Prussian blue; raw sienna. 

Seal Brown. Burnt umber for base; add good French ocher 
and a trifle of white lead. 

Scarlet. Pale English vermilion or any of the scarlet-toned 
vermilion reds. 

Shrimp Pink. White lead for base ; add Venetian red ; burnt 
sienna and a trifle of vermilion. 

Sky Blue. White lead for base; add Prussian blue to shade 

Slate. White lead for base ; add raw umber ; ultramarine blue ; 
lamp black. 

Spruce Yellow. French ocher for base; add Venetian red; 
lighten up with white lead to suit. 

Snuff Color. French ocher for base; add burnt umber and a 
bit of Venetian red. 

Straw Color. Medium chrome yellow for base; add French 
ocher; a bit of Venetian red; lighten up with white lead. 

Stone Color and Yellow Drabs. White lead for base; add 
French ocher; tinge up with medium chrome yellow and burnt 
umber. By varying quantities all shades of yellow drabs can 
be made. 

Tan. White lead for base; add burnt sienna and a trifle of 
lamp black. 


Tally-Ho. White lead for base ; add French ocher ; Venetian 
red ; dark chrome green with a bit of ivory black. 

Terra Cotta. French ocher for base; add Venetian red and 
white lead. Some shades of it require the addition of Indian 
red. Some rich shades are sometimes desired under that name ; 
use orange chrome yellow in place of French ocher, add Vene- 
tian red and a trifle of burnt umber to suit. 

Turquoise Blue. White lead for base, or better, zinc white; 
add cobalt blue ; Paris green or pale chrome green. 

Vienna Brown. Burnt umber for base; add Venetian red; 
French ocher; and lighten with white lead to suit. 

Violet. White lead for base; add pale Indian red, and a 
trifle of dark Indian red. 

Willow Green. White lead for base; add sufficient medium 
chrome yellow to make a pretty deep shade; then add a small 
quantity of raw umber and ivory black. 

Wine Color. English vermilion or scarlet-toned vermilion 
red for base; add madder lake or carmine; ultramarine blue; 
ivory black. 

Another way; dark Tuscan red of good quality to which add 
a trifle of ivory black. 

Water Green. White lead for base; add raw sienna; dark 
chrome green. 

Yellow Bronze. Lemon or medium chrome yellow for base; 
add French ocher and just a trifle of burnt umber. 



Acacia, 246. 
Acorn brown, 246. 
Adulterants of white lead, 25. 
Adulteration of chrome yellow, 
Alabaster, 246. 
Alderney brown, 246. 
Alizarin, 120. 
Aluminous ocher, 58. 
Amaranth, 246. 
Amber brown, 246. 
American ochers, 70, 183. 
American sienna, 187. 
American umber, 187. 
American vermilion, 104, 184. 
American zinc, 25. 
Analysis of Oxford ocher, 65. 
Analysis of terre verte, 140. 
Analysis of umber, 162. 
Anemone, 246. 
Antique bronze, 246. 
Antwerp blue, 187. 
Apple green, 246. 
Apricot, 246. 
Armenian red, 246. 
Artificial ocher, 183. 
Ash gray, 246. 
Ashes of roses, 246. 
Asiatic bronze, 246. 
Aureolin, 87, 183. 

properties of, 87. 
Aurora yellow, 184. 
Autumn leaves, 246. 

Azure blue, 247. 
Azurite, 187. 


Barium chromate, 183. 
Baryta lemon yellow, 78, 183. 

properties of, 78. 
Baryta white, 51, 183. 

composition of, 51. 

properties of, 52. 

source of supply of, 51. 

uses as an adulterant, 53. 
Baryta white artificially made, 

as a distemper color, 55. 
Baryta yellow, 183. 
Barytes, 183. 

Base (the) in mixing tints, 237. 
Basic copper acetate, 145, 186. 
Bay, 247. 
Beeswax, 217. 
Begonia, 247. 
Benzine, 208. 

properties of, 208. 

uses of, 209. 
Berg blau, 187. ' 
Berg grim, 186. 
Berlin blue, 187. 
Best vehicle for white lead, 22. 
Bice, 187. 

Bismark brown, 247. 
Black lead (see graphite), 188. 
Black pigments, 170. 
Black pigments, 188. 




Black slate, 247. 
Blanc d 'argent, 182. 
Blanc de plomb, 182. 
Blanc de zinc, 182. 
Blanc fixe, 183. 
Bleu d'azur, 186 
Bleu de Berlin, 187. 
Bleu de cobalt, 187. 
Bleu de smalte, 187. 
Bleu de Thenard, 187. 
Bleu d'outremer, 186. 
Blow pipe test for white lead, 

how to make, 30. 
Blue black (see charcoal black), 


Blue pigments, 186. 
Blue smalt, 155. 

properties, 155. 
Blue verditer, 154, 187. 

production of, 154. 

properties of, 154. 
Boiled linseed oil, 203, 231. 

adulterations of, 231. 

properties of, 231. 

uses of, 231. 
Bordeaux blue, 247. 
Bottle green, 247. 
Brass, 247. 
Brick color, 247. 
Bronze green, 247. 
Bronze red, 247. 
Bronze yellow, 247. 
Brown ocher, 183. 
Brown pigments, 187. 
Brown pink, 184. 
Brown stone, 247. 
Browns, 247. 
Brun de Vandyke, 188. 
Burnt ocher, 184. 
Burnt, sieriha, 187. 
Burnt umber, 159, 187. 

properties of, 159. 

uses of, 159. 
Buttercup, 247. 

Cadmium, 92. 

chemistry of, 92. 

properties of, 92. 
Cadmium gelb, 184. 
Cadmium yellow, 184. 
Cafe au lait, 248. 
Cambridge red, 248. 
Canary, 248. 

Caput motuum vitrioli, 184. 
Carbonate of lime (see whiting), 

41, 182. 

Carbon black (see gas black), 188. 
Carmin, 184. 
Carmin de garance, 185. 
Carmin lack, 185. 
Carmine, 127, 185. 

history of, 127. 

properties of, 127. 

uses of, 127. 
Carnation, 248. 
Cassel earth, 188. 
Cendres blues, 187. 
Cerulean blue, 187, 248. 
Ceruleum, 153, 187. 

properties of, 153. 

uses of, 153. 
Ceruse, 153. 

Chalking of white lead, 21. 
Chamois, 248. 
Chamoline, 248. 
Charcoal black, 187, 188. 

preparation of, 178. 

properties of, 178. 

uses of, 178. 
Chartreuse, 248. 
Cherry red, 248. 
Chessylite, 154, 187. 
Chestnut, 248. 

China clay (see kaolin), 183. 
Chinese blue, 150, 186. 

properties of, 150. 

uses of, 150. 
Chinese vermilion, 184. 
Chinese white, 182. 



Chocolate, 248. 

Chromate of lead, 183, 184. 

Chrome, 183. 

Chrome green, 129, 185. 

chemistry of, 129. 

manufacture of, 130. 

properties of, 132. 

proprietary names for, 131. 

uses of, 133. 
Chrome jaune, 183. 
Chrome yellows, 73, 183. 

chemistry of, 74. 

general remarks on, 73. 

manufacture of, 74. 

medium, 74. 

properties of, 74. 

canary and lemon, 75, 183. 
manufacture of, 75. 

orange, 75, 183. 
defects of, 77. 
manufacture of, 75, 183. 
properties of, 76. 
uses of, 77. 
Chrom gelb, 183. 
Chromium sesquioxide, 186. 
Cinnabar, 184. 
Cinnamon, 248. 
Citrine lake, 184. 
Citron, 249. 
Claret, 248. 
Clay bank, 248. 
Clay drab, 248. 
Cobalt blue, 248. 
Cobalt blue, 152, 187. 

manufacture of, 152. 

properties of, 152. 

uses of, 152. 
Cobalt green, 135, 185. 

properties of, 135. 

uses of, 135. 

Cobalt yellow, (see aureolin), 183. 
Cocoanut brown, 249. 
Coelin, 187. 
Coelin blue, 187. 
Colcothar, 184. 

Collen earth, 188. 

Cologne earth, 188. 

Colonial yellow, 249. 

Coloring pigments for tints, 235. 

Compounding of pigments, 187. 

Copper, 249. 

Coral pink, 248. 

Cotrine, 249. 

Cream color, 249. 

Cremser weiss, 182. 

Crimson, 249. 

Crocus, 184. 

Cupric arsenite, 186. 

Cyprus umber, 187. 


Dahl process white lead, 27. 

manufacture of, 28. 

properties of, 28. 
Dark chrome green, 185. 
Dextrin, 226. 

properties of, 226. 
Dove color, 249. 
Dregs of wine, 249. 
Drop black (see ivory black), 

175, 188. 
Dryers, 229. 

general remarks on, 229. 

lead oxides as driers, 232. 

oxides of manganese, 232. 

paste form, 233. 
Dumont's blue, 187. 
Dunkel gelb lack, 184. 
Dutch pink, 90, 184. 

character of, 90. 

properties of, 91. 
Dutch process white lead, 9. 

chemistry of, 11. 

corroding of, 10. 


Earth whites, 40. 
general remarks, 40. 



Ecru, 249. 

Egyptian green, 249. 

Electric blue, 249. 

Elfenbein schwartz, 188. 

Emerald, 249. 

Emerald green (see Paris green), 

Emerald oxide of chromium, 


English ochers, 69. 
English umber, 187. 
English vermilion (see vermilion), 

Extra light chrome green, 185. 


Fawn, 249. 
Fixed oils, 189. 
Flake white, 22, 182. 
Flaxseed oil (see linseed oil), 189. 
Flesh color, 249. 
Floated barytes, 183. 
Frankfort black, 188. 
Frankfurter schwartz, 188. 
French blue, 186. 
French gray, 250. 
French ocher, 183. 
French red, 250. 
French zinc, 34. 


Gamboge, 86, 183. 

properties of, 86. 
Gas black, 173, 188. 

properties of, 173. 

uses of, 174. 
Gazelle, 250. 
Gelben ocher, 183. 
Geranium, 250. 
Giallo di napoli, 186. 
Glues, 220. 

general remarks on, 220. 

properties of, 221. 

uses of, 222. 

Glycerine, 228. 

properties of, 228. 

uses of, 228. 
Gmelin's blue, 1S6. 
Gobelin blue, 250. 
Gold, 250. 
Golden brown, 250. 
Gommegutte, 183. 
Graphite, 179, 188. 

production of, 179. 

properties of, 180. 
Grass green, 250. 
Gray drabs, 250. 
Gray green, 250. 
Gray stone, 250. 
Green bice, 186. 

Green carbonate of copper, 186 
Green earth, 186. 

Green oxide of chromium, 134, 

properties of, 134. 

uses of, 134. 

Green pigments, 129, 185. 
Green stone, 250. 
Green verditer, 142, 186. 

properties of, 142. 
Greys, 250. 

Grinding colors, a trade, 68. 
Griin erde, 186. 
Grimes chromoxyd, 186. 
Griins pan, 186. 
Guimet's blue, 186. 
Gum arabic, 224. 

properties of, 224. 

uses of, 225. 
Gypsum, 46, 183. 

chemistry of, 47. 

history of, 46. 

properties of, 47. 

source of supply, 46. 


Hay color, 250. 
Heavy spar, 183. 



Heliotrope, 250. 
History of white lead, 9. 
Honey, 227. 

properties of, 227. 


Imitation vermilion, 100, 184. 
Impurities in linseed oil, 201. 

properties of, 126. 

tests for, 201. 

uses of, 126. 
Indian brown, 250. 
Indian lake, 126, 185. 
Indian pink, 250. 
Indian reds, 110. 

characteristics of, 110. 

production of, 110. 

properties of, 112. 

uses of, 112. 
Indian yellow, 87, 183. 

chemistry of, 88. 

properties of, 88. 
Indisch gelb, 183. 
Iron gray, 250. 
Italian pink, 1$4. 
Italian sienna, 187. 
Ivory black, 175, 188. 

manufacture of, 175. 

properties of, 176. 

uses of, 176. 
Ivy green, 251. 

Japans, 214. 

properties of, 214. 

uses of, 214. 
Jasper, 251. 
Jaune brilliant, 184. 
Jaurie d'antimoine, 184. 
Jaune de cadmium, 184. 
Jaune de cobalt, 183. 
Jaune de Mars, 183. 
Jaune de Naples, 184. 
Jaune Indien, 183. 
Jaune royal, 184. 
Jonquil, 251. 


Kaolin, 44, 183. 

properties of, 45. 
King's yellow, 93, 184. 

characteristics of, 93. 

chemistry of, 94. 
Kobalt blau, 187. 
Kobalt gelb, 183. 
Kobalt griin, 185. 
Konig's gelb, 184. 
Krapp lack, 185. 


Lac lake, 185. 
Lack lack, 185. 
Lakes, 118. 

general remarks on, 118. 

manufacture of, 121. 

red lakes, 119. 
Lamp black, 170. 

chemistry of, 170. 

manufacture of, 170. 

properties of, 171. 

uses of, 172. 
Lapis lazuli blau, 186. 
Laque brown, 183. 
Laque cramoisi, 185. 
Laque de garance, 185. 
Laque d'Inde, 185. 
Lavender, 251. 
Lazurestein blau, 186. 
Lead color, 251. 
Lead (sulphate), see sulphate of 

lead, 26. 
Lead (sublimed), see sublimed 

lead, 27. 

Lead (white), see white lead, 9. 
Lead (white oxide), see white oxide 

of lead, 28. 
Leaf buds, 251. 
Leather, 251. 
Lemon, 251. 
Levant umber, 187. 
Lilac, 251. 



Linseed oil, 191. 

boiled, 203. 

chemistry of, 195. 

drying of, 196. 

manufacture of, 191. 

properties of, 198. 

tests for impurities, 201. 

uses of, 199. 
Liquid dryers, 231. 

general remarks on, 231. 
List of principal tints, 243. 
London smoke, 251. 


Madder brown, 185. 
Madder lakes, 123, 185. 

properties of, 124. 

uses of, 124. 
Madder purple, 185. 
Madder red, 185. 
Magenta, 251. 
Malachite, 142. 
Manilla or deck paint, 251. 
Marigold, 251. 
Maroon, 251. 
Mars gelb, 183. 
Mars orange, 183. 
Mars yellow, 183. 
Mastic, 251. 
Mauve, 251. 

Medium chrome green, 185. 
Medium chrome yellow, 183. 
Metallic browns, 166. 

manufacture of, 166. 

properties of, 167. 

uses of, 167. 
Mexican red, 251. 
Mignonette, 251. 
Miltos, 185. 
Mineral yellow, 183. 
Mittes green, 186. 
Mittler's green, 186. 
Mixing compound tints, 239. 

general remarks on, 243. 

how to prepare, 240. 

Mixing compound tints cont'd. 

in distemper, 241 . 
Mixing simple tints, 239. 
Molasses (see honey), 227. 
Moorish red, 252. 
Mortar colors made from ochers, 


Moss color, 252. 
Mouse color, 252. 
Mountain blue, 187. 
Mountain green, 186. 
Mulberry, 252. 
Myrtle green, 252. 


Naphtha (see benzine), 208. 
Naples yellow, 89, 184. 

chemistry of, 89. 

history of, 89. 

properties of, 89. 
Neapel gelb, 89. 
Neutral tints, 236. 
New blue, 186. 
Nile blue, 252. 
Noirr de fumee, 188. 
Noir d'ivoire, 188. 
Noir de vigne, 188. 
Normandy blue, 252. 
Nut brown, 252. 


Oak color, 252. 
Ocher jaune, 183. 
Ocher roth, 185. 
Ocher rouge, 185. 
Ochers, 57, 183. 

aluminous, 59. 

analysis of Oxford, 65. 

chemical properties, 58. 

general characteristics, 58. 

grinding in oil, 67. 

mining of, 61. 

properties of, 61. 

silicate, 58. 

uses of, 63. 
Oil of turpentine, 207. 



Old gold, 252. 

Olive, 252. 

Olive brown, 252. 

Opal gray, 253. 

Opa,que oxide of chromium, 186. 

Orange. 252. 

Orange brown, 252. 

Orange cadmium, 184. 

Orange chrome yellow, 183, 

Orient yellow, 184. 

Oriental green, 252. 

Orpiment (see king's yellow), 184. 

Oxford ocher, 183. 

Oxide of zinc (see zinc white), 182. 


Paraffin waxes, 219. 

characteristics of, 219. 
Pariser blau, 187. 
Paris green, 143. 

chemistry of, 143. 

preparation of, 143. 

uses of, 143. 
Paris white, 182. 
Peach blossom, 253. 
Peacock blue, 253. 
Pea green, 253. 
Pearl, 253. 
Peori, 183. 

Permanent blue, 186. 
Permanent weiss, 183. 
Permanent white, 183. 
Permanent yellow, 183. 
Persian orange, 253. 
Pigment, definition of, 2. 
Pink, 253. 

Pink madder lake, 185. 
Pistache, 253. 
Plumbago, 188. 
Plum color, 253. 
Pompeian red, 253. 
Poppyseed oil, 204. 

properties of, 204. 

uses of, 204. 
Portland stone, 253. 

Powdered silica, 183, 
Preface, iii. 

Preliminary remarks, i. 
Primary colors, 235. 
Primrose, 253. 
Prussian blue, 148, 187. 

Listory of, 148. 

manufacture of, 148. 

properties of, 149. 

uses of, 149. 
Prussiate of iron, 187. 
Puiri, 183. 

Pulp ground white lead, 16. 
Puree, 183. 
Purple, 253. 
Purple brown, 253. 
Purple lake, 185. 
Purpurin, 120. 


Quaker green, 253. 
Quercitron lake, 184. 


Raw sienna, 163, 187. 
Raw umber, 156, 187. 
Red chalk, 185. 
Red hematite, 185. 
Red iron ore, 185. 
Red lead, 116. 

chemistry of, 116. 

history of, 116. 

properties of, 117. 

uses of, 117. 
Red ocher, 185. 
Red oxide of iron, 114. 

properties of, 114. 

uses of, 115. 
Red pigments, 95. 
Rinkman's green, 185. 
Roan, 253. 

Robin's egg blue, 254. 
Roman ocher, 185. 
Rose lake, 123. 

properties of, 123. 

uses of, 123. 



Rose madder lake, 185. 
Rose pink, 122. 

properties of, 122. 

uses of, 122. 
Rouge, 184. 
Rouge de Venise, 184. 
Royal blue, 155, 187. 
Ruben's madder, 185. 
Rubrica, 185. 
Ruddle, 185. 
Russ, 188. 
Russet, 254. 
Russian gray, 254. 


Sage green, 254. 

Salmon, 254. 

Sap green, 254. 

Sapphire blue, 254. 

Saxon blue, 187. 

Scale test for adulterations : 

how to make it, 81. 

in colors, 80. 
Scarlet, 254. 
Scarlet ocher, 185. 
Scheele's green, 144, 186. 

characteristics of, 144. 
Scheele's griin, 186. 
Sea green, 254. 
Seal brown, 254. 
Secondary colors, 235. 
Shellac (alcoholic solution), 215. 

properties of, 215. 

uses of, 215. 
Shrimp pink, 254. 
Siccatives (see driers), 229. 
Sienna erde, 187. 
Siennas, 161, 187. 

analysis of, 162. 

burnt sienna, 163. 
properties of, 164. 
uses of, 164. 

chemistry of, 162. 

general characteristics, 161. 

history of, 161. 

Siennas continued. 

properties of, 163. 

raw sienna, 163. 
properties of, 163. 
uses of, 163. 
Silicate earth, 48. 

chemistry of, 49. 

properties of, 49. 
Silver white, 182. 
Silver white, 183. 
Sky blue, 254. 
Slate, 254. 
Smalt, 187. 
Smalte, 187. 
Snuff color, 254. 
Soluble blue (see Chinese blue), 

150, 186. 
Spanish brown, 168. 

properties of, 168. 

uses of, 168. 
Spanish white, 182. 
Spirits of turpentine, 207. 

manufacture of, 207, 
Starch, 226. 

properties of, 226. 
Stone color, 254. 
Straw color, 254. 
Strictly pure vs. compound leads,. 

Sublimed lead, 27. 

properties of, 27. 
Sugar (see honey), 227. 
Sulphate of barium, 183. 
Sulphate of lead, 20. 

chemistry of, 26. 

properties of, 26. 
Sulphate of lime (see whiting), 


Sulphide of cadmium, 184. 
System of packing white lead, 23. 


Table of synonyms, 181. 
Tally-ho, 255. 
Tan, 254. 



Terra-cotta, 255. 
Terra di sienna, 187. 
Terra ombra, 187. 
Terra rosa, 187. 
Terra verde, 186. 
Terre d 'ombre, 187. 
Terre de sienne, 187. 
Terre de verone, 186. 
Terre verte, 139, 186. 

analysis of, 139. 

history of, 139. 

production of, 139. 

uses of, 139. 
Tertiary colors, 236. 
Turkey umber, 156, 187. 
Turner's blue, 187. 
Turquoise blue, 255. 
Tuscan reds, 112. 

manufacture of, 112. 

properties of, 113. 

uses of, 113. 


Ultramarine blue, 145, 186. 
chemistry of, 145. 
manufacture of, 145. 
properties of, 146. 
uses of, 146. 
Umbers, 156, 187. 
burnt umber, 159. 

properties of, 159. 
chemistry of, 157. 
properties of, 158. 
provenances of, 156. 
raw umber, 156. 
burnt umber, 159. 
properties .of, 156. 
uses of, 158. 
Umbraun, 187. 


Vandyke brown, 165, 188. 
properties of, 165. 
provenance of, 165. 

Vandyke brown continued. 

uses of, 165. 
Varnishes, 210. 

general remarks, 210. 

properties of, 211. 

uses of, 212. 
Vegetable waxes, 217. 

characteristics of, 217. 
Vehicles for mixing pigments, 189. 
Venetian red, 106, 184. 

history of, 106. 

manufacture of, 107. 

properties of, 109. 

uses of, 109. 
Verdigris, 141, 188. 

chemistry of, 141. 

properties of, 141. 

uses of, 141. 
Vermilion, 95, 184. 

characteristics of, 98. 

chemistry of, 96. 

history of, 95. 

source of supply, 95. 

uses of, 99. 
Vermilion reds, 100, 184. 

manufacture of, 101. 

properties of, 103. 

uses of, 103. 
Vert emeraude, 186. 
Vert de chrome, 186. 
Vert de cobalt, 185. 
Vert de gris, 186. 
Vert de Guimet, 186. 
Vert de Montpelliers, 186. 
Vert de Scheele, 186. 
Vert de zinc, 185. 
Vert Panetier, 186. 
Vert Paul Verone, 186. 
Vienna brown, 255. 
Vine black, 188. 
Violet, 255. 
Viridian, 137, 186. 

properties of 137. 

uses of, 137. 
Volatile oils, 206. 




Water green, 255. 
Waxes, 217. 
White lead, 9. 

chalking of, 21. 

chemistry of, 11. 

cylinder system of corrosion, 18. 

defects of, 21. 

Dutch process of corroding, 10. 

grinding dry in oil, 15. 

history of, 9. 

injurious gases, 22. 

manufacture by, 12. 

process of manufacture, 19. 

properties of, 20. 

pulp ground lead, 16. 

ripening oil ground lead, 16. 

stack system of corrosion, 11. 

vehicles for, 22. 

volatile oils for, 22. 

working qualities, 20. 
White oxide of lead, 28. 

hardening in package when 

ground in oil, 28. 
White pigments, 8. 
White silicate, 183. 
Whiting, 41, 182. 

chemistry of, 42. 

levigation of, 42. 

Whiting continued. 

mining of, 42. 

properties of, 43. 

qualities of, 43. 

source of, 42. 
Willow green, 255. 
Wine color, 255. 


Yellow bronze, 255. 
Yellow lake, 184. 
Yellow madder, 184. 
Yellow ocher, 57, 183. 
Yellow pigments, 57, 73, 183. 
Yellow ultramarine, 183. 


Zaffre, 187. 
Zinc green, 135, 185. 
Zinc Weiss, 182. 
Zinc white, 32, 182. 

chemistry of, 33. 

compounds of, 38. 

defects of, 37. 

history of, 32. 

in distemper, 39. 

manufacture of, 33. 

properties of, 36. 

tests for purity of, 35. 
Zunzober, 184. 





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